Refereed journal article or data article (A1)

Lack of Statin Therapy and Outcomes After Ischemic Stroke: A Population-Based Study

List of AuthorsÅivo Julia, Ruuskanen Jori O, Tornio Aleksi, Rautava Päivi, Kytö Ville

PublisherLippincott Williams & Wilkins

Publication year2023


Journal name in sourceSTROKE

Journal acronymSTROKE

Volume number54

Issue number3

Start page781

End page790

Number of pages10







Statin treatment is effective at preventing adverse vascular events after ischemic stroke (IS). However, many patients fail to use statins after IS. We studied the impact of not using statins after IS on adverse outcomes.


IS patients (n=59 588) admitted to 20 Finnish hospitals were retrospectively studied. Study data were combined from national registries on hospital admissions, mortality, cancer diagnoses, prescription medication purchases, and permissions for special reimbursements for medications. Usage of prescription medication was defined as drug purchase within 90 days after hospital discharge. Ongoing statin use during follow-up was analyzed in 90-day intervals. Differences in baseline features, comorbidities, other medications, and recanalization therapies were balanced with inverse probability of treatment weighting. Median follow-up was 5.7 years.


Statin therapy was not used by 27.1% of patients within 90 days after IS discharge, with women and older patients using statins less frequently. The average proportion of patients without ongoing statin during the 12-year follow-up was 36.0%. Patients without early statins had higher all-cause mortality at 1 year (7.5% versus 4.4% in patients who did use statins; hazard ratio [HR], 1.74 [CI, 1.61-1.87]) and 12 years (56.8% versus 48.6%; HR, 1.37 [CI, 1.33-1.41]). Cumulative incidence of major adverse cerebrovascular or cardiovascular event was higher at 1 year (subdistribution HR, 1.36 [CI, 1.29-1.43]) and 12 years (subdistribution HR, 1.21 [CI, 1.18-1.25]) without early statin use. Cardiovascular death, recurrent IS, and myocardial infarction were more frequent without early statin use. Early statin use was not associated with hemorrhagic stroke during follow-up. Lack of ongoing statin during follow-up was associated with risk of death in time-dependent analysis (adjusted HR, 3.03 [CI, 2.96-3.23]).


Lack of statin treatment after IS is associated with adverse long-term outcomes. Measures to further improve timely statin use after IS are needed.

Last updated on 2023-31-03 at 11:14