It was thought that cholesterol-lowering medications (statins) might raise the risk for bleedingin the brain?intracerebral hemorrhage?because abnormally low cholesterol is a risk factorfor the condition. A new study, nevertheless, has found that cerebral hemorrhages have notincreased with the use of these drugs.
The study, reported in Stroke (June 2004), examined the genetic and environmental risk factorsfor bleeding stroke. The researchers compared 188 patients with intracerebral hemorrhageand 366 matched participants who did not have a stroke. The results indicated that statin usewas not connected with an increased risk of bleeding in the brain.
The researchers noted, however, that they did not have data on the participants' cholesterollevels. Despite knowing which participants were treated with statins, the investigators wereunaware of whether that treatment was effective in lowering cholesterol levels.