Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Aggressive reduction in cholesterol levels can reduce risk for stroke by 16 percent

11.08.2006
Promising research offers important information for physicians and patients

According to data from the National Stroke Association, up to 40 percent of patients who have had a stroke will experience a second stroke within five years of the first. An international team of researchers recently completed a study to determine if the cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor® (atorvastatin calcium) would reduce the occurrence of a second stroke. The Stroke Prevention by Aggressive Reduction of Cholesterol Levels (SPARCL) team of investigators, led by Dr. K. Michael Welch, neurologist and President and CEO of Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, published their research in today's issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

The SPARCL study included 4,731 patients with no history of heart disease who had experienced a stroke or TIA (mini stroke) within six months of study enrollment. The patients had mildly elevated cholesterol levels, and received either 80 mg of Lipitor® or a placebo; they were then monitored for an average of five years.

Study findings indicate that patients taking Lipitor® experienced a 16-percent reduction in the risk of secondary stroke compared with patients taking a placebo. Lipitor patients also saw a 35-percent reduction in the risk of major coronary events (cardiac death, non-fatal heart attacks, or resuscitated cardiac arrest) compared to the patients taking placebo. "These cardiovascular results are remarkable in a population not known to have had heart disease," said principal investigator, Dr. K. Michael Welch.

The SPARCL study researchers conclude that their results support the initiation of statin (i.e., Lipitor®) treatment shortly after a stroke or TIA. "We believe that the findings indicate that Lipitor 80 should become an established part of secondary stroke prevention," said Dr. Welch.

An analysis of the SPARCL data was designed and conducted after the study ended to explore the types of strokes -- ischemic or hemorrhagic -- that occurred among patients in the study. Eighty-five percent of the strokes in this trial were ischemic. Patients taking Lipitor® experienced a 22-percent reduction in the risk of ischemic stroke.

Also, the number of patients in the analysis who experienced hemorrhagic stroke was very small. There were more patients in the Lipitor® group who experienced this type of stroke (2.3 percent), compared to patients taking placebo (1.4 percent). However, the overall benefit in terms of reducing the risk of stroke was still significant despite this increase, and there was no difference in the number of deaths from hemorrhagic stroke between the two treatment groups.

Every year, an estimated 15 million people worldwide suffer strokes, and 10 million will either remain disabled or die. Strokes also exact a heavy economic toll, with the lifetime cost of treating one patient with a stroke averaging more than $3 million. Reducing the risk of stroke through the application of new data, such as those revealed by the SPARCL investigation, is a key priority in cardiovascular medicine.

The 16-percent reduction in secondary stroke risk that was achieved through aggressively reducing cholesterol levels of study patients is indeed significant. "These data are important information for physicians because patients who have had a stroke are at much greater risk for suffering another one, yet treatment options to reduce their risk are limited," commented Dr. Welch.

SPARCL is an investigator-led trial coordinated by an independent steering committee and funded by Pfizer, Inc. For more information, contact Dr. K. Michael Welch, principal investigator, at michael.welch@rosalindfranklin.edu.

Kathleen Peterson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.rosalindfranklin.edu
http://www.lifeindiscovery.com

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Investigators may unlock mystery of how staph cells dodge the body's immune system
22.09.2017 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

nachricht Monitoring the heart's mitochondria to predict cardiac arrest?
21.09.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>