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 email@example.com.
Inflammation Triggers Unsustainable Immune Response to Chronic Viral Infection
24.10.2016 | Universität Basel
Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
24.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering
24.10.2016 | Life Sciences
24.10.2016 | Life Sciences