Statins are not tied to general cognitive decline in older patients

  • Samaras K & al.
  • J Am Coll Cardiol
  • 26 Nov 2019

  • International Clinical Digest
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Takeaway

  • Statin therapy is not tied to global cognitive or memory declines in older people over the course of 6 years.
  • An exception is a more rapid decline in logical memory among men taking them.

Why this matters

  • These authors say their findings should assuage fears that statins are associated with memory impairment and cognitive decline.

Key results

  • Statin users and never-users did not differ in rates of memory and global cognition declines or specific memory tests at 6 years.
  • Brain volumes did not differ between statin users and never-users.
  • Outcomes did not differ for specific statin use vs never-users.
  • Statin use was not linked to dementia risk factors.
  • Normotensive statin users had slower global cognition decline vs never-users (P=.018).
  • In a small subgroup (n=99) initiating statins during the study, memory decline slowed relative to nonusers (P=.038).
  • Exploratory analyses suggested potential protection against specific memory declines in patients with heart disease and carrying an Alzheimer variant.
  • Men using statins had more rapid declines in logical memory vs male never-users (P=.020).

Study design

  • Prospective observational study, 1037 community-dwelling Australians ages 70-90 years.
  • 395 never-users vs 642 ever-users.
  • Funding: Australian National Health and Medical Research Council.

Limitations

  • No causation established, confounding possible.