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Halting drugs after stroke raises risks

September 03, 2007|From Times Wire Reports

Patients who stop getting cholesterol-lowering medications after being hospitalized for a stroke are almost five times more likely to die or become dependent within three months.

Though doctors aren't told to stop cholesterol treatment with the drugs known as statins in stroke patients, many do to avoid problems that occur when stomach contents are regurgitated into the lungs. That may be a mistake. A study shows the pills, including Lipitor and Crestor, do more than lower cholesterol levels, said the researchers led by Jose Castillo from the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

They also suppress inflammation, help prevent clotting and increase the release of nitric oxide that protects blood vessel walls.

The results appeared in the journal Neurology.

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