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Lipid-lowering Therapies and Long-term Stroke Prevention in East Asians: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.

BACKGROUND: Stroke prevention is a pressing global health priority, with reducing elevated lipids recognized as a key strategy. East Asians, constituting over 1.6 billion individuals and the largest racial group worldwide, are a key demographic in this effort. Yet, the effectiveness of lipid-lowering therapies for stroke prevention in this population remains uncertain.

AIMS AND METHODS: We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of large-scale randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with at least 3 years of follow-up to evaluate the long-term impact of lipid-lowering therapies on stroke incidence in East Asians. We systematically searched four electronic databases up to January 11, 2024. The association was quantified using relative risk (RR) with a 95% confidence interval (CI), and between-study heterogeneity was evaluated using the I2 statistic. Additionally, we utilized the Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool to assess the risk of bias in each included RCT and applied the GRADE approach to evaluate the certainty of the evidence.

RESULTS: This study incorporated data from 9 large-scale RCTs involving 54,354 participants. Our findings of overall analyses revealed that lipid-lowering therapies did not significantly affect the long-term incidence of all strokes (9 RCTs; 54,354 participants; RR, 0.98 [95% CI, 0.87-1.10]; P = 0.75), ischemic stroke (7 RCTs; 52,059 participants; RR, 0.91 [95% CI, 0.79-1.04]; P = 0.16), or hemorrhage stroke (7 RCTs; 52,059 participants; RR, 1.24 [95% CI, 0.97-1.59]; P = 0.09) in East Asians. Notably, there was no evidence of heterogeneity or publication bias, and the quality of evidence assessed using GRADE methodologies was rated as high. Sensitivity analyses confirmed the robustness of our results, with no single study significantly affecting the overall findings. Furthermore, subgroup analyses consistently supported the conclusions, further bolstering the reliability of our study.

CONCLUSIONS: Lipid-lowering therapies did not demonstrate any beneficial effects on long-term stroke prevention among East Asians.

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