Tuesday 13 December 2016

Cholesterol Lowering Statins Could Reduce Risk Of Alzheimer's


The statin tablets, which are prescribed to people to reduce cholesterol, are taken by millions of Britons every day and are one of the mostly commonly taken medications.

However, they could also help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Results of a study, published in the journal JAMA Neurology, have revealed taking taking the tablets for six months a year for at least two years reduced the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 15 per cent for women and 12 per cent for men.

However, the effectiveness of the protection from the condition - a form of dementia - varied depending on the type of statin and the race of the patient.

Dr Julie Zissimopoulos, assistant professor, said: "To our knowledge, no effective treatments exist for Alzheimer disease, and new molecules are years away.

"However, several drugs prescribed for other conditions have been associated with reducing its risk."

Researchers at the University of Southern California, in LA, analysed the records of 400,000 patients prescribed four commonly prescribed statins - simvastatin, atorvastatin, pravastatin and rosuvastatin.

They found from 2009 to 2013, 1.72 per cent of women and 1.32 per cent of men received a diagnosis of Alzheimer's annually.

But white men had the lowest incident of Alzheimer's at 1.23 per cent while fewer black and Hispanic people took statins compared to white people.

The incidence of Alzheimer's disease was higher among Hispanic and black women - 2.29 per cent and 2.11 per cent, respectively - than white women - 1.64 per cent.

White men had the lowest incidence of Alzheimer's - 1.23 per cent, lower than that of women from other from other races - 1.37 per cent and men - 1.29 per cent.

The incidence of Alzheimer's was 1.86 per cent and 1.94 per cent among Hispanic men and black men.

About half of the men and women had used atorvastatin while only 19 per cent of women and 17 per cent of men used pravastatin and 18 per cent of women and 16 per cent of men used rosuvastatin.

It found Alzheimer's were higher among black and Hispanic people than white people, while statin use was lower.

Professor Zissimopoulos added: "Beneficiaries exposed to higher levels of statins from 2006 to 2008 were 10 per cent less likely to have an Alzheimer's diagnosis in the subsequent five years than similar beneficiaries with lower statin exposure.

"Individuals with high exposure to statins had lower rates of Alzheimer's compared with individuals with low exposure to statins across all four statin types.

"Those who did not use any statins had an Alzheimer's incidence of 1.99 per cent over the same period."

But the risk of Alzheimer's was reduced for Hispanic men, white women and men, and black women.

There no significant difference in risk was seen for black men who had high exposure to statins compared with low exposure.

High exposure to simvastatin was associated with a lower risk of Alzheimer's for white, Hispanic and black women, as well as white and Hispanic men.

But there was no reduction in Alzheimer's risk for black men was associated with any statin. Atorvastatin was associated with reduced Alzheimer's risk among white, black, and Hispanic women and Hispanic men.

Pravastatin and rosuvastatin were associated with reduced Alzheimer's risk for white women.

Professor Zissimopoulos said:”Our study identified the associations between Alzheimer's incidence and statin use by statin type, sex, and race/ethnicity.

Alzheimer's disease: Statins are usually prescribed to reduce cholesterol

"This suggests that certain patients, facing multiple, otherwise equal statin alternatives for hyperlipidemia treatment, may reduce Alzheimer's risk by using a particular statin.

"The right statin type for the right person at the right time may provide a relatively inexpensive means to lessen the burden of Alzheimer's."

Professor John Hardy, Professor of Neuroscience, UCL, said: “The possible role of statins in Alzheimer prevention has been debated for nearly 20 years. This paper contributes to that discussion but does not really lead to a definitive answer: rather it suggests, based on health records analysis, that in some groups there is a protection, but in others there are not.

“This is a complex outcome and will need more studies to determine whether there is protection or not and who the protection works for.

“Prospective, rather than retrospective studies are the most likely way this will be definitively sorted out.”



Etiam at libero iaculis, mollis justo non, blandit augue. Vestibulum sit amet sodales est, a lacinia ex. Suspendisse vel enim sagittis, volutpat sem eget, condimentum sem.