In the Journals

Statin use may decrease risk for Parkinson’s disease

Regular statin use was associated with a modest reduction in the risk for developing Parkinson’s disease, particularly among younger patients, according to recent study results.

This prospective study included 38,192 men from the Health Professional Follow-up Study and 90,874 women from the Nurses’ Health Study. In 1994, researchers collected information on regular cholesterol-lowering drug use two or more times a week in both cohorts through questionnaire. The main outcome measure was incidence of Parkinson’s disease identified by biennial self-reported questionnaires.

Researchers documented 644 cases of Parkinson’s disease (338 women and 306 men) during 12 years of follow-up. Among current statin users, study results showed the risk for Parkinson’s disease was lower (adjusted pooled RR=0.74; 95% CI, 0.54-1.00) vs. nonusers.

Researchers also observed a significant association between statin use and risk for Parkinson’s disease among patients aged younger than 60 years at baseline (adjusted pooled RR=0.31; 95% CI 0.11-0.86), according to study data. However, this association was not found among patients who were older (adjusted pooled RR=0.83; 95% CI, 0.60-1.14).

“Our results should be interpreted with caution because only approximately 70% of users of cholesterol-lowering drugs at baseline were actual statin users,” the researchers said. “Further, the results were only marginally significant and could be due to chance. Given the potential adverse effects of statins, further prospective observational studies are needed to explore the potential effects of different subtypes of statins on risk of Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases.”

Disclosure: Xiang Gao, MD, reports being a consultant for Teva.

Regular statin use was associated with a modest reduction in the risk for developing Parkinson’s disease, particularly among younger patients, according to recent study results.

This prospective study included 38,192 men from the Health Professional Follow-up Study and 90,874 women from the Nurses’ Health Study. In 1994, researchers collected information on regular cholesterol-lowering drug use two or more times a week in both cohorts through questionnaire. The main outcome measure was incidence of Parkinson’s disease identified by biennial self-reported questionnaires.

Researchers documented 644 cases of Parkinson’s disease (338 women and 306 men) during 12 years of follow-up. Among current statin users, study results showed the risk for Parkinson’s disease was lower (adjusted pooled RR=0.74; 95% CI, 0.54-1.00) vs. nonusers.

Researchers also observed a significant association between statin use and risk for Parkinson’s disease among patients aged younger than 60 years at baseline (adjusted pooled RR=0.31; 95% CI 0.11-0.86), according to study data. However, this association was not found among patients who were older (adjusted pooled RR=0.83; 95% CI, 0.60-1.14).

“Our results should be interpreted with caution because only approximately 70% of users of cholesterol-lowering drugs at baseline were actual statin users,” the researchers said. “Further, the results were only marginally significant and could be due to chance. Given the potential adverse effects of statins, further prospective observational studies are needed to explore the potential effects of different subtypes of statins on risk of Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases.”

Disclosure: Xiang Gao, MD, reports being a consultant for Teva.