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QJM. 2013 Apr;106(4):299-306. doi: 10.1093/qjmed/hct041. Epub 2013 Feb 21.

Comparative effects of statins on major cerebrovascular events: a multiple-treatments meta-analysis of placebo-controlled and active-comparator trials.

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  • 1Department of Social Policy, London School of Economics & Political Science, London, UK. h.naci@lse.ac.uk

Abstract

Statins are important in the prevention of major cerebrovascular events. Whether, and the extent to which, individual statins differ in terms of their effect on these outcomes has not been studied. The aim of this review was to evaluate the comparative effects of individual statins on major cerebrovascular events. We systematically reviewed 61 trials including 187 038 individuals with, or at risk of developing, cardiovascular disease. We performed pair-wise and multiple-treatments meta-analyses for major cerebrovascular events, in addition to fatal and non-fatal strokes separately. Across all populations, statins were significantly more effective than control in reducing major cerebrovascular events [odds ratio (OR): 0.82, 95% CI: 0.77, 0.87], with no differences among individual statins. Statins were also effective in patients with established cardiovascular disease (OR: 0.83, 95% CI: 0.75, 0.91) and in those without (OR: 0.80, 95% CI: 0.71, 0.91). Considering individual statins, significant risk reductions were achieved with atorvastatin (OR: 0.74, 95% CI: 0.63, 0.85), pravastatin (OR: 0.86, 95% CI: 0.76, 0.97) and simvastatin (OR: 0.75, 95% CI: 0.62, 0.88) as compared with control on major cerebrovascular events across all populations. Statins led to significant reductions in the risk of non-fatal strokes (OR: 0.77, 95% CI: 0.71, 0.85) but not of fatal strokes (OR: 0.96, 95% CI: 0.80, 1.15). Findings were not sensitive to dose differentials of individual statins across the trials. No significant heterogeneity or inconsistency was detected. Statins significantly reduce the incidence of major cerebrovascular events as compared with control. Our analysis provided evidence to confirm the class effect of statins in preventing major cerebrovascular events.

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