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Post-Stroke Statins: How Do They Affect Cognitive Decline Risk?

October 02, 2019

Statins could help to decrease the risk of post-stroke cognitive impairment, according to the results of a recent study.

Previous research on the relationship between blood lipids, atherosclerosis, and statin use and the risk of dementia and cognitive impairment is conflicting, according to the study’s authors.

To explore how these factors influence cognitive outcomes in stroke patients, the researches conducted an analysis of data from 56 randomized controlled trials and observational cohort studies of patients with stroke involving a total of 38,423 patients.

Overall, for coronary heart disease, pooled odds ratios (ORs) of dementia and cognitive impairment were 1.32 and 1.23, respectively. For peripheral artery disease, ORs were 3.59 and 2.70, respectively. For carotid stenosis, ORs were 2.67 and 3.34, respectively. For post-stroke statin use, ORs were 0.89 and 0.56, respectively.

“Atherosclerosis may be associated with an increased risk of post-stroke dementia. Post-stroke statin use was associated with decreased risk of cognitive impairment. To confirm whether or not statins confer advantages in the post-stroke population in terms of preventing cognitive decline over and above their known effectiveness in reducing risk of further vascular events, further stroke trials including cognitive assessment and observational analyses adjusted for key confounders, focusing on key subgroups or statin use patterns are required.

—Michael Potts


Yang Z, Wang H, Edwards D, et al. Association of blood lipids, atherosclerosis and statin use with dementia and cognitive impairment after stroke: a systematic review and meta-analysis [published online September 7, 2019]. Ageing Res Rev. doi: 10.1016/j.arr.2019.100962

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