Adherence to statins cuts stroke risk

Poor adherence to statins may “considerably increase” ischaemic stroke risk, according to a study examining the relationship in patients with diabetes.

Researchers from Finland identified 1,703 statin users with diabetes who experienced an ischaemic stroke and 6,799 stroke-free controls with diabetes matched for age, sex, date they started statins and duration of follow-up. About half of the patients (46.1 per cent of cases and 50.1 per cent of controls) showed good adherence, defined as taking statins on at least 80 per cent of days.

Good adherence was associated with a 23 per cent reduction in ischaemic stroke risk compared with people who took statins on less than 80 per cent of days and a 37 per cent reduced risk compared to those who took statins on less than 20 per cent of days. The association between good adherence and reduced stroke risk seemed more marked in people younger than 65 years of age than older people (31 and 16 per cent reductions respectively).

The association was also stronger in people with than without a history of ischaemic stroke (31 and 23 per cent respectively) and in those without than with a history of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (35 and 17 per cent respectively) at the start of treatment.

Pharmacoepid Drug Safety DOI:10.1002/pds.3936

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