FAU Professor Publishes on the Need for Increased Prescription of Statins for Stroke Patients
Clinical Study Published in September 2011 Issue of the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology and Therapeutics
BOCA RATON, FL (September 14, 2011) — Charles H. Hennekens, M.D., DrPH, the first Sir Richard Doll Research Professor of Medicine in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University has published a clinical study in the current issue of the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology and Therapeutics (JCPT) titled “The Need for Increased Utilization of Statins After Occlusive Stroke.” In this publication, Hennekens addresses the clinical and public health challenges to treat virtually all survivors of stroke with statins, the most effective and widely studied drug to lower cholesterol. Hennekens’ collaborators on this clinical study include Patricia R. Hebert, Ph.D., research associate professor at FAU, Wendy Schneider, M.S.N., R.N., affiliate clinical instructor of clinical science and medical education at FAU, and Enrique Rodriguez-Paz, a former pre-med student at FAU. According to Science Watch, Hennekens was the third most widely cited medical researcher in the world from 1995-2005 and five of the top 20 were his former trainees and/or fellows.
In the article, Hennekens points out that stroke is a leading cause of death and serious long-term disability in the United States and the recurrence rate after five years is approximately 33%. He emphasizes that increased utilization of statins for patients with stroke will produce statistically significant and clinically important reductions in their risks of future stroke, heart attack and death from cardiovascular disease. Statins produce statistically significant and clinically important beneficial effects on lipids, including decreases in total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and triglycerides.
“I am concerned that only about one half of eligible patients in the U.S. are currently being treated with statins despite the fact that there are federal as well as American Heart Association guidelines to support our conclusions,” said Hennekens. “Our research further supports the need for more widespread use of evidence-based doses of statins in patients with occlusive stroke.”
According to the American Heart Association, stroke is the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer, and every 40 seconds someone in the U.S. has a stroke. It is estimated that seven million Americans over the age of 20 have had a stroke and each year, more than 795,000 Americans experience a new or recurrent stroke.
-FAU-Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. In commemoration of its origin, FAU is celebrating its 50th anniversary throughout 2011. Today, the University serves more than 29,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses and sites. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. For more information, visit www.fau.edu.