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June 23, 1997

Statin Therapy and Reduced Incidence of StrokeImplications of Cholesterol-Lowering Therapy for Cerebrovascular Disease

Author Affiliations

Cornell University Medical College 1300 York Ave New York, NY10021

Arch Intern Med. 1997;157(12):1283-1284. doi:10.1001/archinte.1997.00440330013001

THE DEVELOPMENT of preventive therapies for stroke should be a high priority on the American health agenda. More than 3 million Americans have evidence of cerebrovascular disease, and each year about 150 000 die of stroke. Stroke is the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer in the United States and the leading cause of serious long-term disability.1 Current prevention strategies focus on medical management of hypertension, the most widely recognized stroke risk factor, and lifestyle interventions that are thought to decrease risk, such as smoking cessation, alcohol moderation, increase in physical activity, and weight loss.2,3 Oral contraceptive use, especially in combination with smoking, is also considered to increase risk, as does the occurrence of atrial fibrillation and coronary heart disease.

Until recently, treating elevated serum cholesterol or low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels was thought to be of relatively minor importance in reducing the

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