Discontinuation of statin therapy and clinical outcome after ischemic stroke

Furio Colivicchi, Andrea Bassi, Massimo Santini, Carlo Caltagirone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE - The majority of patients with previous ischemic stroke are expected to benefit significantly from long-term statin therapy. However, discontinuation of medication therapy frequently occurs in clinical practice. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of discontinued statin therapy on clinical outcome in patients discharged after an acute ischemic stroke. METHODS - The study population included 631 consecutive stroke survivors (322 men and 309 women; mean±SD age, 70.2±7.6 years) without clinical evidence of coronary heart disease. All patients were discharged on statin therapy and were followed up for 12 months after the acute ischemic stroke. RESULTS - Within 12 months from discharge, 246 patients (38.9%) discontinued statin therapy; the mean time from discharge to statin discontinuation was 48.6±54.9 days (median time, 30 days; interquartile range, 18 to 55 days). During follow-up, 116 patients died (1-year probability of death=0.18; 95% CI, 0.15 to 0.21). Multivariate analysis demonstrated that after adjustment for all confounders and interactions, statin therapy discontinuation (hazard ratio=2.78; 95% CI, 1.96 to 3.72; P=0.003) was an independent predictor of all-cause 1-year mortality. CONCLUSIONS - A large number of patients discontinue their use of statins early after acute stroke. Moreover, patients discontinuing statins have a significantly increased mortality during the first year after the acute cerebrovascular event. These findings suggest that patient care should be improved during the transition from a hospital setting to outpatient primary care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2652-2657
Number of pages6
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2007


  • Adherence
  • Statins
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Neuroscience(all)


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