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Keywords:

  • recurrence;
  • secondary prevention;
  • statins;
  • stroke

Background

Although statin therapy is beneficial for preventing first strokes, the benefit for recurrent stroke and its sub-types remains unknown in Asian populations. The aim of this study is to examine the role of pravastatin in the secondary prevention of stroke in Japanese patients.

Methods

This is a multicenter, randomized, open-label, parallel group study of patients with noncardioembolic ischemic stroke (atherothrombotic infarction, lacunar infarction, and infarction of undetermined etiology). All patients were diagnosed with hyperlipidemia and with a total cholesterol level between 180 and 240 mg/dl at enrollment. Patients in the treatment group receive 10 mg/day of pravastatin, and those in the control group receive no statin treatment. The primary end-point is the recurrence of stroke, including transient ischemic attack. The secondary end-points include the onset of respective stroke sub-types and functional outcomes related to stroke. The patients were enrolled for five-years and will be followed up for five-years.

Results

A total of 1578 eligible patients (age: 66·2 years, men: 68·8%), including 64·2% with lacunar infarction, 25·4% with atherothrombotic infarction, and 10·4% with infarction of undetermined etiology were included in this study. Lipid levels were generally well controlled (total cholesterol: 210·0 mg/dl, low density lipoprotein cholesterol: 129·5 mg/dl) at baseline. In addition, the disability of patients was relatively mild, and cognitive function was preserved in the majority of patients.

Conclusion

This article reports the rationale, design, and baseline features of a randomized controlled trial to assess the effects of statin for the secondary prevention of stroke. Follow-ups of patients are in progress and will end in 2014.