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Statin Use Not Linked to Rate of Cognitive Decline in Seniors

Rate of decline in memory, global cognition similar for elderly statin users, never users over six-year period

TUESDAY, Nov. 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Statin therapy is not associated with increased decline in memory or cognition among older adults, according to a study published in the Nov. 26 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Katherine Samaras, M.B.B.S., Ph.D., from St. Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, and colleagues conducted a prospective observational study of 1,037 community-dwelling elderly Australians (aged 70 to 90 years) to examine the correlation between statin use and changes in memory and cognition. Memory and global cognition were measured by psychological testing every two years, and a subgroup of 526 participants underwent magnetic resonance imaging to identify total brain, hippocampal, and parahippocampal volumes.

The researchers observed no difference in the rate of decline in memory or global cognition between statin users and never users during six years. During the observation period, statin initiation correlated with blunting the rate of memory decline. In participants with heart disease who carry apolipoprotein E ε4, statin use correlated with attenuated decline in specific memory test performance. Brain volume changes did not differ between statin users and never users.

“This study offers reassurance to consumers who hold concerns about harmful statin effects on memory and cognition,” the authors write.

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