Features April 2008 Issue

Statins Lower Stroke Risk After Bypass Surgery

Imagine looking forward to a better quality of life following coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), only to suffer a devastating stroke a few months later. It happens to five to 15 percent of CABG patients, depending on age and the extent of cardiovascular disease. Recently, a study showed that taking a statin drug after CABG may reduce this risk. "Statins taken after bypass surgery were found to significantly lower LDL ("bad") cholesterol, which was associated with a reduction in postoperative stroke. While these results are intriguing, they need to be confirmed through prospective randomized clinical trials," explains Cleveland Clinic cardiology fellow Matthew Becker, MD, who spearheaded the study and presented his findings at the 2007 annual meeting of the American Heart Association in November.

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