Dear Dr. Roach: Im an 82-year-old man, taking 10 mg of atorvastatin daily. My HDL is 85, and my LDL is 46. I recently read that people with low LDL cholesterol levels might have increased risk for hemorrhagic stroke, like a ruptured blood vessel in the brain. Should I be concerned? G.G.
Answer: A stroke is a brain injury with death of brain cells, with or without symptoms. It can be caused by thrombosis, which is the development of a blood clot in a brain blood vessel; by embolus, which is material, usually a clot, moving into the brain from another location, especially the heart; or by hemorrhage from a ruptured blood vessel in the brain. Only about 13% of strokes are hemorrhagic.