Although statins are commonly used to prevent heart attacks and strokes, they said the drugs could raise the risks of a second stroke in these patients, outweighing any other heart benefits from the drugs.

"Our study indicates that in settings of high recurrent intracerebral hemorrhage risk, avoiding statin therapy may be preferred," Dr. Brandon Westover of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School and colleagues wrote in the Archives of Neurology.

That was particularly true of people who had strokes in one of the brain's four lobes - frontal, parietal, temporal, or occipital - which recur more frequently than such strokes that occur deep in the brain.