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Statins After Bypass Lower Stroke Risk

The cholesterol-busting drugs could be lifesavers, study suggsts

TUESDAY, Nov. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment with cholesterol-lowering statin drugs after coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery reduces a patient's risk of stroke, U.S. researchers report.

The study, from the Cleveland Clinic, included more than 5,200 patients who underwent bypass between early 1993 and late 2005. The overall incidence of post-operative stroke one year after surgery was 3.3 percent (181 strokes).

"Patients discharged on statin therapy were more likely to have a lower low-density cholesterol (LDL or "bad" cholesterol) and were significantly less likely to suffer a post-operative stroke at one year," the researchers wrote.

They also said that age, peripheral vascular disease and kidney disease were independent predictors of stroke, heart attack or death. The use of both statin and ACE inhibitors significantly reduced risk, they found.

"These data suggest that a discharge regimen including statin therapy may reduce post-operative morbidity and warrants prospective validation," the researchers concluded.

The study was to be presented Tuesday at the American Heart Association annual meeting, in Orlando, Fla.

More information

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons has more about CABG.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Nov. 6, 2007, presentation, American Heart Association annual meeting, Orlando, Fla.

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