Statin Use and Mortality Risk in Dementia Patients

JULY 02, 2019
Patrick Campbell
Elderly dementia patientUse of statins can result in a significantly lowered death and stroke risk among patients with dementia, according to a recent study.

The study, which was presented at the 5th European Academy of Neurology Congress, found that statin users had a 22% lower is of all-cause death and a 23% reduction in stroke compared to non-users.

“Our results are encouraging and suggest that patients with dementia benefit from statins to a similar extent than patients without dementia,” said lead author Sara Garcia-Ptacek, MD, PhD, of the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden.

In order to evaluate the effect of statins on survival and risk of stroke in patients with dementia, investigators carried out a prospective registry-based cohort study using data from the Swedish Dementia Registry. Investigators identified a total of 44,920 patients who were enrolled in the registry between 2008 and 2015. 

Data on participants included demographic characteristics, comorbidities, medications, mortality, and stroke were extracted from the Swedish Prescribed Drug Registry, Risstroke, the Swedish National Patient Register, and the Swedish Total Population Register. Investigators used propensity score-matched Cox regression models to examine the association between ever use of statins in 3 years before dementia, all-cause mortality and stroke.

After analyses, investigators found that ever users of statins (16,791) had a lower risk of all-cause death (adjusted Hazard Ratio 0.78, 95% CI 0.74-0.83) compared to non-users (16,791). Investigators also found that there was a significant impact on risk of stroke (aHR 0.73, 95% CI 0.64-0.93).

Stratified analyses performed by investigators revealed a protective effect on survival in multiple patient groups. Patients younger than 75 years older saw a 27% reduction in mortality risk and men saw 26% reduction. Women and older patients also saw reductions — 17% and 20% respectively.

Additionally, patients with vascular dementia saw a 29% lower mortality risk. Investigators point out that, due to the study’s design, they were unable to prove that statins cause a decline in mortality and can only show an association.

"This is a cohort study, which means patients were not randomized to a treatment like they would be in a clinical trial,” Garcia-Ptacek said. “For this reason, we can only show an association, and not definitely prove that statins caused this decline in mortality.”

This study, titled “Statins, risk of death and stroke in patients with dementia - a registry-based study,” was presented at the 5th European Academy of Neurology Congress. 

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