News Release 

Statin use reduces mortality and stroke risk in dementia patients, new study shows

The use of statins is significantly associated with a reduction in the risk of mortality in dementia patients

Spink Health

(Oslo, Monday, 01 July, 2019) The use of statins is significantly associated with a reduction in the risk of mortality in dementia patients, new research presented today at the 5th European Academy of Neurology (EAN) Congress has shown.

The study, which analysed 44,920 Swedish dementia patients from the Swedish Dementia Registry between 2008-2015, found users of statins had a 22% lower risk of all-cause death compared to matched non-users.

The research also demonstrated that statin users had a 23% 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% reduction) and in men (26% reduction) but women and older patients also benefited (17% and 20% reduction respectively). Patients with vascular dementia - the second most common type of dementia after Alzheimer's disease - also saw a 29% lower mortality risk.

"Survival in patients in dementia is variable, and previous studies have identified many factors associated with survival and risk of stroke in these patients", commented first author Bojana Petek, MD, from the University Medical Center Ljubljana, Slovenia and the Karolinska Institutet, Sweden. "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."

Commenting on their research, lead author Dr Sara Garcia-Ptacek from the Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, stated, "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, our results are encouraging and suggest that patients with dementia benefit from statins to a similar extent than patients without dementia."

Affecting around 10 million people in Europe, dementia is the leading cause of dependency and disability among older people across the continent. The number of cases is expected to double by 2030, largely due to the ageing population. The prevalence of dementia increases exponentially with age, affecting 5% of the population over 65, and up to 50% by 90 years of age.

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Notes to Editors:

Press Enquiries:

For further information or to speak to an expert, please contact Luke Paskins or Hannah Murray at press@ean.org or call +44 (0) 1444 811099.

About the Expert:

Bojana Petek, MD, is from Division of Neurogeriatrics, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden and the Department of Neurology, University Medical Center Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Dr. Sara Garcia-Ptacek, the Senior Author, is from the Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.

EAN - The Home of Neurology:

The European Academy of Neurology (EAN) is Europe's home of neurology. Founded in 2014, through the merger of two European neurological societies, EAN represents the interests of more than 45,000 individual members and 47 national institutional members from across the continent. This year, EAN celebrates its fifth year of fostering excellence in European neurology and will bring together more than 6,000 neurologists and related scientists to the biggest general neurology conference in Europe.

In Oslo, Norway, from June 29 to July 2, there will be an exchange of knowledge and promotion of best practice, with a focus on the main theme of neuroinflammation. The EAN Congress will also cover all neurological diseases and disorders, including the big 7: epilepsy, stroke, headache, multiple sclerosis, dementia, movement disorders, neuromuscular disorders.

References:
1. Statins, risk of death and stroke in patients with dementia - a registry-based study. Petek B, Villa-Lopez M, Winblad B, Kramberger MG, von Euler M, Xu H, Eriksdotter M, Garcia-Ptacek S, presented at the 5th Congress of International Neurology in Oslo.
2. The Swedish Dementia Registry (SveDem): http://www.svedem.se
3. Journal of Internal Medicine. 2017. Management of acute ischaemic stroke in patients with dementia. Available at: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/joim.12588
4. WHO Europe, Dementia. Available at: http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/noncommunicable-diseases/mental-health/areas-of-work/dementia

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