Comparative effect of statins on the risk of incident Alzheimer disease

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Abstract

Objective

To investigate whether fungus-derived statins are associated with a lower risk of incident Alzheimer disease (AD) compared with synthetic statins using real-world clinical practice data.

Methods

We identified a population-based retrospective cohort of patients aged ≥60 years newly prescribed a statin between January 1, 1994, and December 31, 2012, and followed until March 31, 2015, using the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink. Statins were consecutively classified according to their type, lipophilicity, and potency. For each group, we calculated the crude AD incidence rates per 1,000 person-years. Time-dependent Cox proportional hazards models adjusted for propensity score deciles were used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% confidence interval (CIs) of incident AD associated with different statin categories.

Results

Over the 18-year study period, we identified 465,085 statin users, including 7,669 patients who developed AD during 2,891,268 person-years of follow-up (incidence rate 2.65 [95% CI 2.59–2.71] per 1,000 person-years). Compared to synthetic, fungus-derived statins were associated with an increased risk of AD (HR 1.09, 95% CI 1.03–1.15). Lipophilic statins also were associated with higher AD risk (HR 1.18, 95% CI 1.09–1.27) compared to hydrophilic statins, while statin potency did not modify the risk of AD (adjusted HR 1.03, 95% CI 0.98–1.08). The risk was further reduced in sensitivity analyses.

Conclusion

Fungus-derived and lipophilic statins were not associated with decreased incidence of AD compared to synthetic and hydrophilic statins. The modest variations in the risk of incident AD observed between statin characteristics needs to be evaluated in future studies on their possible heterogeneous neuroprotective effect.

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