Coming off statins makes a second stroke ‘significantly more likely’

Coming off statins soon after a stroke could increase the likelihood of a second stroke, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Statins work by inhibiting the liver’s ability to produce cholesterol. People who stop taking the cholesterol reducing drugs within three to six months were found to be 42 per cent more likely to have another stroke within a year.

The researchers analysed data from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database, which includes medical information for most people of the population, including 45,151 people who had an ischemic stroke. All were prescribed statins within 90 days of leaving hospital.

After six months, 18.5 per cent had been taken off the drugs entirely. The researchers found that 6.2 per cent of those who stopped taking the drugs had another stroke within a year, compared to 4.4 percent of those who stayed on them, even at a reduced dose.

Dr. Meng Lee, the study’s lead author, said: ‘These findings suggest that providers and atherosclerotic stroke patients should not discontinue statin therapy unless there is a highly compelling reason for doing so.’

Instant analysis

We have already seen evidence on starting statins in patients who have had strokes, and this study looks specifically at stopping them. By analysing data from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD), it reports that discontinuation of statin treatment beyond the first three months after an index ischemic stroke was associated with increased risk of recurrent stroke and all‐cause mortality at one year after statin discontinuation.

There were some limitations to the study, not least that the information was retrospective so confounding factors may have lead to bias. However, the authors argue quite reasonably that it would be unethical to carry out a clinical trial involving stopping statins in some of these patients, as we know that they are beneficial for secondary stroke prevention. Ultimately though, this study essentially tells us to keep doing what we are doing, and encourage adherence to staton therapy in post-stroke patients.

  • AlexB

    But did they have the strokes as a result of coming off the statins (body having to readjust), or were these strokes the statins had prevented that they were now more susceptible to?

    Not a fan of statins. They have their uses, but I think they are too readily prescribed.

  • Bill

    Yeah sure. If you look at the history of “positive” statin findings disseminated by corporate medicine and its generously funded mouthpiece, the mainstream media, and see beyond those narratives you’ll recognize that most of the “scientific” research in favor of cholesterol-lowering statins is flawed and fraudulent (read Dr. Uffe Ravnskov’s work).

    The most reliable evidence has long tied statin use with memory problems, muscle disorders, liver damage, cataracts, nerve damage, arterial calcification, pancreatitis, erectile dysfunction, brain dysfunction, diabetes, and with an increased risk of cancer and higher mortality.
    The fact that statins are linked to causing heart disease this marketing hype of the corrupt medical allopathy that statins would do anything in favor of strokes is laughable!!!

    There are practically no, or only marginal, benefits from these toxic drugs.

    The physiological mechanisms of how statins do serious damage are also well understood, such as by their impairment of oxidative cell metabolism, the increase in inflammation and cell destruction, the lowering of cholesterol and sex hormone production, the promotion of pancreatic injury, etc. – rather thoroughly explained in this scholarly article on how statins and a cholesterol-lowering popular diet pill promote diabetes if you search online for “Do Garcinia Cambogia Side Effects Boost Diabetes?” by Rolf Hefti, a published author of the Orthomolecular Medicine News organization – look at Figure 7 to see how irrational it is to block the production of cholesterol!

    And because of such medical propaganda, few people are aware that the medical claims of benefits of statins are mostly based on junk studies conducted by people with vested interests. And, logically, it’s mostly the corporate medical business and other people and websites with similar vested interests tied to it (eg, mouthpieces, hacks, or simply ignoramuses) who promote the alleged value of these highly lucrative products.

    Also, older people with HIGH cholesterol live longer than those with low cholesterol levels (see above mentioned article for numerous scientific study references confirming this).

    Because the cholesterol-heart disease theory, or rather medical dogma, is wrong, the use of statins is also wrong by logical extension.

    So the real truth is that statins have almost no real benefit in the very vast majority of users. They do more harm than good (read Uffe Ravnskov’s “The Cholesterol Myths” and Malcolm Kendrick’s “The Great Cholesterol Con”). It’s one of many “scientific” scams of the criminal mainstream medical business.