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In Nursing Homes, Statins Often Continued in Advanced Dementia

Most residents taking statins continue after progression to advanced-stage disease

MONDAY, Dec. 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For nursing home (NH) residents with dementia taking statins, most continue statins with the progression to advanced dementia, according to research published in the November issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Jennifer Tjia, M.D., from the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, and colleagues examined patterns of and factors associated with statin use and discontinuation among NH residents with dementia. Data were collected from NH residents with dementia from all NHs in five states. The authors observed residents who developed advanced dementia from baseline and followed them for at least 90 days to statin discontinuation or death.

The researchers found that 16.6 percent of the 10,212 residents used statins. The odds of statin use were increased with having diabetes mellitus (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.24), stroke (aOR, 1.31), and hypertension (aOR, 1.35). Lower odds of statin use were seen in association with hospice enrollment (aOR, 0.75). Statins were discontinued by 37.2 percent during follow-up, with a median time to discontinuation of 36 days. Correlations were observed for shorter time to discontinuation with hospitalization in the past 30 days (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 1.67) and more daily medications (aHR, 1.02). When statins were discontinued, 15.0 and 47.5 percent of residents stopped only statins and at least one other medication, respectively.

"Most NH residents who use statins at the time of progression to advanced dementia continue use in follow-up," the authors write.

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