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Neurobiol Aging. 2009 Jun;30(6):1006-9. Epub 2007 Nov 19.

Serum total cholesterol, statins and cognition in non-demented elderly.

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1
Department of Neurology, University of Kuopio, P.O. Box 1627 FIN-70211, Kuopio, Finland. alina.solomon@uku.fi

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The association between serum total cholesterol (TC), lipid-lowering drugs and cognition in the elderly is currently controversial.

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the relationship between TC, lipid-lowering drugs and cognitive functions in non-demented elderly.

DESIGN AND SETTING:

Participants of the Cardiovascular risk factors, aging and dementia (CAIDE) study were derived from random, population-based samples previously studied in 1972, 1977, 1982 or 1987. Analyses are based on 1382 non-demented participants re-examined in 1998 after an average follow-up of 21 years.

RESULTS:

High midlife TC was associated with poorer late-life episodic memory and category fluency. TC decreased in most individuals over time. A more pronounced decrease was related to poorer late-life episodic memory and psychomotor speed, but not if subjects used statins.

CONCLUSIONS:

The TC-cognition relationship seems bidirectional. High midlife TC is associated with poorer late-life cognition, but decreasing TC after midlife may reflect poorer cognitive status. Statins may be beneficial for cognition in non-demented elderly.

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