National advisories recommend statin therapy as an element of secondary prevention for patients with ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack of atherosclerotic origin. Statins are of proven benefit in persons at high risk of vascular disease.
To evaluate the effects of in-hospital initiation of statins on 3-month treatment adherence rates and achievement of national guideline target cholesterol goals.
Data were collected in consecutively encountered patients with ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack admitted to a university hospital stroke service beginning September 1, 2002. Patients were included in the study if they were not receiving a statin before admission and had an indication for statin therapy. Adherence to statin treatment and achievement of national guideline target cholesterol goals were assessed 3 months after discharge.
From September 1, 2002, through April 30, 2005, 92 (17%) of 552 individuals met the study criteria. Hospital initiation of statin therapy yielded high rates of adherence (93% [86/92]), lowered mean low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels from 120 to 78 mg/dL (3.1 to 2.0 mmol/L; P<.001), and increased the proportion of patients with low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels lower than 100 mg/dL (2.6 mmol/L) from 36% to 88% (P<.001) at 3 months.
Statin initiation during hospitalization for an ischemic cerebrovascular event is associated with high rates of adherence to treatment, lowering of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, and higher rates of achieving national cholesterol guidelines.