Statins Do Not Increase Bleeding Stroke Risk

OCTOBER 01, 2004

It was thought that cholesterol-lowering medications (statins) might raise the risk for bleeding in the brain?intracerebral hemorrhage?because abnormally low cholesterol is a risk factor for the condition. A new study, nevertheless, has found that cerebral hemorrhages have not increased with the use of these drugs.

The study, reported in Stroke (June 2004), examined the genetic and environmental risk factors for bleeding stroke. The researchers compared 188 patients with intracerebral hemorrhage and 366 matched participants who did not have a stroke. The results indicated that statin use was not connected with an increased risk of bleeding in the brain.

The researchers noted, however, that they did not have data on the participants' cholesterol levels. Despite knowing which participants were treated with statins, the investigators were unaware of whether that treatment was effective in lowering cholesterol levels.