Statin use and sex-specific stroke outcomes in patients with vascular disease

Cheryl D. Bushnell, Jeffrey Griffin, L. Kristin Newby, Larry B. Goldstein, Kenneth W. Mahaffey, Carmelo A. Graffagnino, Robert A. Harrington, Harvey D. White, R. John Simes, Robert M. Califf, Eric J. Topol, J. Donald Easton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE - Although statins reduce the risk of stroke in patients with coronary heart disease, possible differing effects of statins on stroke outcomes based on sex remain uncertain. We investigated the relationships between statin use and sex-specific stroke incidence, severity, and mortality. METHODS - Data from 3 trials of oral glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors (first and second Sibrafiban versus aspirin to Yield Maximum Protection from ischemic Heart events postacute cOroNary sYndromes [SYMPHONY] and Blockade of the glycoprotein IIb/IIIa Receptor to Avoid Vascular Occlusion [BRAVO]) were pooled and stroke outcomes compared among 8191 baseline statin users versus 14 752 nonusers. Time-to-event data were modeled with proportional hazards regression. Stroke severity was assessed retrospectively with the Canadian Neurological Scale (CNS) based on records with scoreable neurological examinations. RESULTS - A total of 217 subjects had strokes (0.95%). Statin users had a lower risk of stroke in unadjusted (hazard ratio [HR], 0.69; 95% CI, 0.51 to 0.92) and risk-adjusted models (HR, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.53 to 0.97). There was no difference in stroke mortality with statin use (P=0.8). CNS scores could be assigned to 106 of the subjects, with no difference in severity among statin users and nonusers (median CNS=10.5 in users versus CNS=9.75 in nonusers; P=0.14). Women had more severe strokes than men (median CNS=10.5 in men versus 9.5 in women; Poisson regression P=0.035). Women had more severe strokes after adjustment for statin use (P=0.03) and the combination of statin use, atrial fibrillation, and age (P=0.03). CONCLUSIONS - In patients included in these clinical trials of oral glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors, statin use is associated with a reduced risk of stroke but not severity or mortality. Women had more severe strokes than men, a difference that was not explained by baseline characteristics or statin use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1427-1431
Number of pages5
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2006


  • Stroke assessment
  • Stroke outcome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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