Common medications and intracerebral hemorrhage: The aric study

Richa Sharma, Kunihiro Matsushita, Aozhou Wu, Clifford R. Jack, Michael Griswold, Thomas H. Mosley, Myriam Fornage, Rebecca F. Gottesman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Antiplatelets, anticoagulants, and statins are commonly prescribed for various indications. The associations between these medications and the risk of intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) and cerebral microbleeds (CMBs) are unclear. METHODS AND RESULTS: We performed a retrospective study of the ARIC (Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities) study cohort, recruited from 4 US communities in 1987 to 1989 with follow-up. In 2011 to 2013, a subset (N=1942) underwent brain magnetic resonance imaging with CMB evaluation. Time-varying and any antiplatelet, anticoagulant, or statin use was evaluated at subsequent study visits in participants not on each medication at baseline. To determine the hazard of ICH and odds of CMB by medication use, logistic and Cox proportional hazard models were built, respectively, adjusting for the propensity to take the medication, concomitant use of other medications, and cognitive, genetic, and radiographic data. Of 15 719 individuals during up to 20 years of follow-up, 130 participants experienced an ICH. The adjusted hazard of ICH was significantly lower among participants taking an antiplatelet at the most recent study visit before ICH versus nonusers (hazard ratio [HR], 0.53; 95% CI, 0.30–0.92). Statin users had a significantly lower hazard of an ICH compared with nonusers (adjusted HR, 0.13; 95% CI, 0.05–0.34). There was no association of CMB and antiplatelet, anticoagulant, or statin use in adjusted models. CONCLUSIONS: In this US community-based study, antiplatelet and statin use were associated with lower ICH hazard, whereas no association was noted between CMBs and antiplatelets, anticoagulants, and statins. Further study is needed to understand the differential roles of these medications in cerebral microhemorrhages and macrohemorrhages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere014270
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of the American Heart Association
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2021


  • Cohort studies
  • Intracerebral hemorrhage
  • Medications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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