Data from European Academy of Neurology (EAN) and European Stroke Organization (ESO) - Curated by EPG Health - Date added 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 shown1. The study, which analyzed 44,920 Swedish dementia patients from the Swedish Dementia Registrybetween 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 dementia3.

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 continent4. The number of cases is expected to double by 2030, largely due to the aging population. The prevalence of dementia increases exponentially with age, affecting 5% of the population over 65, and up to 50% by 90 years of age3


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 Division of Clinical  Geriatric, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
References:

1.Statins, risk of death and stroke in patients with dementia -a registry-based study. Peter B, Villa-Lopez M, Winblad B, KrambergerMG, von Euler M, Xu H, Eriksdotter M, Garcia-Ptacek S, presented at the 5thCongress of International Neurology in Oslo.

2.The Swedish Dementia Registry (SveDem): www.svedem.se

3.Journal of Internal Medicine. 2017. Management of acute ischaemic stroke in patients with dementia. Availableat:https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/joim.125884.WHO Europe, Dementia. Available at: http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/noncommunicable-diseases/mental-health/areas-of-work/dementia

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 disorder.

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