The following article is part of coverage from the American Academy of Neurology’s Annual Meeting (AAN 2020). Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Academy made the necessary decision to cancel the meeting originally scheduled for April 25–May 1, 2020, in Toronto. While live events will not proceed as planned, readers can click here catch up on the latest research intended to be presented at the meeting.

The beneficial effects of statin therapy for the prevention of ischemic stroke outweigh the potential risk for intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) associated with the treatment, according to study results intended to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN 2020).

Because there are conflicting data on the association between statin treatment and ICH, the goal of the current meta-analysis was to explore the role of statin in primary and secondary prevention of cerebral ischemic and hemorrhagic events vs the risk for ICH.

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The primary outcome was ICH and the secondary endpoints included ischemic stroke and transient ischemic attack.

The meta-analysis included 19 clinical studies with a total of 35,842 participants. There was no significantly increased risk for combined primary and secondary ICH associated with statin therapy (relative risk, 1.03; 95% CI, 0.85-1.08). There was a trend toward an increased risk for secondary ICH among patients who received treatment with statins (odds ratio, 1.87; 95% CI, 0.91-3.86).

On the other hand, statin treatment was associated with a 21% lower risk for stroke and transient ischemic attack (relative risk, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.61-0.87).

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“The benefits of lipid-lowering therapy in the prevention of ischemic stroke greatly exceed the risk of ICH,” concluded the researchers.


Ishfaq A, Ishfaq M, Pandhi FA, Deep A, Maleki AH, Shahripour RB. Dose the pre- or post-stroke statin therapy increase the risk of intracerebral hemorrhage in post-stroke patients? A meta-analysis of randomized and nonrandomized studies. Intended to be presented at the 2020 annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology.  Abstract S9.010.

Visit Neurology Advisor‘s conference section for complete AAN 2020 coverage.