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Arch Neurol. 2000 Oct;57(10):1439-43.

Decreased prevalence of Alzheimer disease associated with 3-hydroxy-3-methyglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitors.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pharmacology, Loyola University Medical Center, Bldg 102, Room 3634, 2160 S First Ave, Maywood, IL 60153. bwolozi@luc.edu.

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Increasing evidence suggests that cholesterol plays a role in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer disease (AD). For instance, an elevated serum cholesterol level has been shown to be a risk factor for AD.

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether patients taking 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitors (statins), which are a group of medicines that inhibit the synthesis of cholesterol, have a lower prevalence of probable AD.

DESIGN:

The experiment uses a cross-sectional analysis comparing the prevalence of probable AD in 3 groups of patients from hospital records: the entire population, patients receiving 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitors (hereafter referred to as the statins), and patients receiving medications used to treat hypertension or cardiovascular disease.

PATIENTS:

The subjects studied were those included in the computer databases of 3 different hospitals for the years October 1, 1996, through August 31, 1998.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Diagnosis of probable AD.

RESULTS:

We find that the prevalence of probable AD in the cohort taking statins during the study interval is 60% to 73% (P < .001) lower than the total patient population or compared with patients taking other medications typically used in the treatment of hypertension or cardiovascular disease.

CONCLUSIONS:

There is a lower prevalence of diagnosed probable AD in patients taking 2 different 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitors-lovastatin and pravastatin. While one cannot infer causative mechanisms based on these data, this study reveals an interesting association in the data, which warrants further study. Arch Neurol. 2000;57:1439-1443

Comment in

PMID:
11030795
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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