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What Is the Connection Between a Stroke and Statins?

Statins.
A diagram of an ischemic stroke and a hemorrhagic stroke.
The human brain, including blood vessels that can be involved in a stroke.
Article Details
  • Written By: Erik J.J. Goserud
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 10 April 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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Unfortunately, having a stroke is a very real thing that can hinder a person's ability to live fully, and in the worst of cases, it can lead to death. Statins are a class of drug primarily utilized for lowering cholesterol. Cholesterol, in some cases, is linked to strokes, so the relationship between a stroke and statins is significant.

In order to best understand the way that a stroke and statins are related, it may be helpful to take a look at a few different aspects of their interactions. Cholesterol gets a bad rap. This steroid, synthesized in the liver and intestines, can do wonders for the body. It can act as a vacuum cleaner for the arteries or help in the genesis of reproductive cells.

Unfortunately, not all cholesterol is good cholesterol. When people consume high volumes of substances high in fats and low-density cholesterols, cholesterol becomes bad. It can reside in arteries for long periods of time, building into cholesterol colonies known as plaques. These plaques can lodge themselves in vessels and move throughout the body, hindering typical blood flow.

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When blood flow is occluded, many bad and potentially life-threatening things can occur depending on the severity and location of the occlusion. If the occlusion is in an artery that feeds the heart blood, it is generally termed a heart attack. If this blockage happens to prevent the brain from getting blood and oxygen, it is termed a stroke. Statins lower cholesterol, and cholesterol can cause a stroke, so stroke and statins are inversely related in most cases.

A person who has a family or personal history of high cholesterol should be carefully monitored by a physician. This physician or other health care professional will likely prescribe exercise and a healthy diet to the patient. In severe or chronic cases, statins may be prescribed to help prevent a stroke.

The tissues of the body, including the heart and brain, need oxygen to survive. When their ability to acquire this oxygen is compromised, as in the case of a cholesterol-driven block, severe tissue damage can occur. This tissue damage may range from the minor to life ending. Thankfully, modern medicine has packed its own punch in regards to stroke and statins, figuring out a way to combat this potentially harmful problem. Being aware of genetics, living a healthy lifestyle, and regularly consulting with a health care professional are all great ways to ensure that a person can avoid counting on the relationship between a stroke and statins to enjoy a healthy life.

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