The use of statins is significantly associated with a reduction in the risk of mortality in dementia patients, according to a study.
The study, which analysed 44,920 Swedish dementia patients between 2008 and 2015, found users of statins had a 22 per cent lower risk of all-cause death compared to matched non-users.
“Survival in patients in dementia is variable, and previous studies have identified many factors associated with survival and risk of stroke in these patients,” said Bojana Petek from the University Medical Center Ljubljana in Slovenia.
“However, the effect of statins on these two outcomes is not clear. The aim of this study was to analyse the association between the use of statins on the risk of death and stroke in patients diagnosed with dementia,” Petek said.
The research, which was presented at 5th European Academy of Neurology (EAN) Congress, also demonstrated that statin users had a 23 per cent reduction in the risk of stroke, which is three times more likely in patients with mild dementia and seven times more likely in those with severe dementia.
The protective effect of statins on survival were strong for patients younger than 75 years (27 per cent reduction) and in men (2 per cent reduction) but women and older patients also benefited (17 per cent and 20 per cent reduction, respectively).
Patients with vascular dementia — the second most common type of dementia after Alzheimer’s disease — also saw a 29 per cent lower mortality risk, according to the study.
“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,” said Dr Sara Garcia-Ptacek from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden.
“However, our results are encouraging and suggest that patients with dementia benefit from statins to a similar extent than patients without dementia,” she added.