Statins reduce mortality risks for individuals with dementia
A new study of more than 40,000 Swedish individuals with dementia has found that statins significantly lower their risk of all-cause death compared with matched, non-using people with dementia.
A novel analysis of 44,920 patients from the Swedish Dementia Registry, between 2008 and 2015, found that use of statins – common cholesterol-lowering agents – significantly reduced the risk of all-cause patient mortality.
Dementia is the leading cause of dependency and disability amongst Europe’s elderly; dementia affects up to 50% of individuals over the age of 90.
Bojana Petek, first study author from University Medical Center Ljubljana (Slovenia) and the Karolinska Institutet (Sweden), stated: "Survival in patients in dementia is variable, and previous studies have identified many factors associated with survival and risk of stroke in these patients…”
Petek continued: "However, the effect of statins on these two outcomes is not clear.” The novelty of this research is that this study specifically aimed “… to analyze the association between the use of statins on the risk of death and stroke in patients diagnosed with dementia."
The results of the study, presented at the 5th European Academy of Neurology Congress (Oslo, Norway), revealed that statin users had a 22% lower risk of all-cause mortality, compared with matched, non-using persons with dementia.
Further, statin use conferred a 23% reduction in stroke risk; risk of stroke for individuals with severe dementia can be seven-fold greater than for individuals without dementia.
The observed protective effects of statins against all-cause mortality were greatest for patients younger than 75 years of age (27% mortality risk reduction), and for men (26% mortality risk reduction), though were still significant for women and patients older than 75 (17% and 20% mortality risk reductions respectively).
Sara Garcia-Ptacek, lead study author from the Karolinska Institutet (Sweden), cautioned: "This is a cohort study, which means patients were not randomized to a treatment like they would be in a clinical trial. For this reason, we can only show an association, and not definitely prove that statins caused this decline in mortality.”
However, Garcia-Ptacek continued: “…our results are encouraging and suggest that patients with dementia benefit from statins to a similar extent than patients without dementia."