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Do Statins Lower Stroke Risk?

A recent study shows cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins are associated with a lower stroke risk among healthy older adults, even those who have no history of heart problems. If you worry about your loved one’s risk of stroke or provide senior home care, read on to learn more about this research.

About the Research Methodology

The study, published recently in the British Medical Journal, followed 7,484 senior adults living in France who have no history of heart attack, stroke, or other vascular events. The participants were examined every two years for a period of nine years by nurses and psychologists who noted any changes in their physical health, mental health, and general wellbeing.

The Results

Among the research participants, use of cholesterol lowering drugs such as statins was associated with a 30 percent lower risk for stroke when compared to those who did not take these medications, even when adjusting for other factors such as age, gender, weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. However, no relationship was observed between statin use and a lower risk for heart disease.

What it Means for Seniors

Although these results are promising, researchers do not suggest that otherwise healthy older adults begin taking statins. Because this study was simply observational, it does not necessarily prove a cause and effect relationship between statin use and lower stroke risk. Instead, the next steps are for more studies to be conducted to see whether these findings can be replicated. If you believe your family member may be at high risk for stroke, or if he or she has high blood pressure, cholesterol, or has already had a cardiac event, talk with his or her doctor about whether statin use may be appropriate.

Although this research does not lead to an immediate change in policy, this is an important step forward in public health, as those older than age 75 are not often included in clinical trials.

In addition to medication, healthy lifestyle changes can go a long way in preventing cardiac events. If your loved one needs help making adjustments, hourly home care in Annapolis might be the solution you’ve been looking for. A friendly and experienced caregiver can grocery shop, prepare healthy meals, encourage physical assistance, and provide emotional support.

At Home Care Assistance, we also utilize our revolutionary Balanced Care Method, which focuses on a healthily diet, regular exercise, maintaining social relationships, and promoting a healthy mind and spirit. To learn more about our comprehensive care services, call 443-302-2771 and speak with a knowledgeable Care Manager.