In a nutshell
This study investigated the best LDL cholesterol levels to prevent a second stroke. Researchers suggested that patients who had an LDL of less than 70mg had a lower risk of having a second stroke.
A stroke happens when the blood flow to the brain is cut-off. The brain cells stop receiving oxygen and begin to die. The body activities controlled by these cells are lost. This may leave the patients with long-term complications such as arm paralysis.
Cholesterol is found in the blood and is needed to build healthy cells. But high levels of it can increase the risk of heart disease. Cholesterol build-up in the arteries may help form a clot which then can cause a stroke. Therefore, stroke survivors take medication to lower their cholesterol levels. However, the exact level of cholesterol LDL that decreases the risk of a second stroke remains poorly studied.
Methods & findings
This study included information about 2860 stroke survivors. The average follow-up was 3.5 years. 1430 patients were assigned to each study group. Group 1 had a higher LDL target (90-110 mg/dL) and group 2 a low LDL target (under 70 mg/dL). The average LDL levels at the start of the study were 135 mg. Group 1 achieved an average level of 65 mg/dL and group 2, 96 mg/dL.
A second cardiovascular event occurred in 121 (8.5%) of patients in group 2 and in 156 (10.9%) in group 1. Patients from group 2 had a 22% improvement in the odds of having fewer second events when compared to group 1.
The bottom line
This study concluded that patients who had an LDL cholesterol of less than 70mg/dL had a lower risk of a second stroke.
Published By :
The New England Journal of Medicine
Nov 18, 2019