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No Link Found Between Statin Use and Alzheimer's Disease

Study of Catholic clergy finds no association with cognitive decline or with neuropathology

THURSDAY, Jan. 17 (HealthDay News) -- There appears to be no relationship between the use of statins and Alzheimer's disease or neuropathologies associated with Alzheimer's, according to a report published online Jan. 16 in Neurology.

Zoe Arvanitakis, M.D., of the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, and colleagues followed 929 Catholic clergy members who were enrolled in the Religious Orders Study. Participants (68.7 percent women, 74.9 years old at baseline) were free of dementia at baseline and were evaluated annually for up to 12 years. Brain autopsy data became available on 262 subjects.

During the 12-year study period, 191 subjects developed Alzheimer's disease, of whom 16 (8.4 percent) were statin users at baseline. After adjusting for confounders, baseline statin use was not associated with risk of incident Alzheimer's disease compared to non-use, nor was statin use at any time prior to death (17.9 percent) associated with global Alzheimer's disease pathology. Persons taking statins were less likely to have amyloid, but among those with amyloid, no relation of statins to amyloid load was observed. Statin use also was not associated with tangles or infarction.

"Overall, these results do not support a relation between statins and Alzheimer's disease or cognitive decline among older persons," the authors write.

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