Impact of Cognitive Dysfunction on Survival in Patients With and Without Statin Use Following Carotid Endarterectomy

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Early cognitive dysfunction (eCD) is a subtle form of neurological injury observed in ∼25% of carotid endarterectomy (CEA) patients. Statin use is associated with a lower incidence of eCD in asymptomatic patients having CEA.


To determine whether eCD status is associated with worse long-term survival in patients taking and not taking statins.


This is a post hoc analysis of a prospective observational study of 585 CEA patients. Patients were evaluated with a battery of neuropsychometric tests before and after surgery. Survival was compared for patients with and without eCD stratifying by statin use. At enrollment, 366 patients were on statins and 219 were not. Survival was assessed by using Kaplan-Meier methods and multivariable Cox proportional hazards models.


Age ≥75 years (P = .003), diabetes mellitus (P < .001), cardiac disease (P = .02), and statin use (P = .014) are significantly associated with survival univariately (P < .05) by use of the log-rank test. By Cox proportional hazards model, eCD status and survival adjusting for univariate factors within statin and nonstatin use groups suggested a significant effect by association of eCD on survival within patients not taking statin (hazard ratio, 1.61; 95% confidence interval, 1.09-2.40; P = .018), and no significant effect of eCD on survival within patients taking statin (hazard ratio, 0.98; 95% confidence interval, 0.59-1.66; P = .95).


eCD is associated with shorter survival in patients not taking statins. This finding validates eCD as an important neurological outcome and suggests that eCD is a surrogate measure for overall health, comorbidity, and vulnerability to neurological insult.


aHR, adjusted hazards ratios


CEA, carotid endarterectomy


CI, confidence interval


DM, diabetes mellitus


eCD, early cognitive dysfunction


NDI, National Death Index


NLR, neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio


SD, standard deviation


SEM, standard error of the mean

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