Background: Statins (HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors) are the most common prescription drug class used in the world- indeed in history. These medications are thought to have a good safety profile. Although randomized controlled trials have not validated statins’ potential to induce reversible cognitive impairments in some patients, continuing evidence shows statin may trigger reversible cognitive impairment in some patients. Thus, this study was aimed to evaluate the effects of statins on cognitive functions.
Methods: A cross-sectional, observational study was conducted among patients of either gender, aged 18 years and above, and taking any of prescribed statins for more than 3 months. The study was conducted at medicine OPD of a tertiary care teaching hospital, Gujarat, over a period of 1 year. Informed consent was obtained from the participants. All the data relevant to the study variable was collected in pre-designed case record form. Cognitive functions in these patients were evaluated using Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE), and Mini-Cog tool. Confidentiality of collected data was maintained.
Results: A total of 203 patients were studied during the study period. The mean age of study participants was 60 ± 2.89 years. The majority of study participants (61%) were male. Atorvastatin (37.4%), and simvastatin (31.5%) were two commonly prescribed statins followed by the rosuvastatin (11.82%). Dementia was observed in 10.8% (n=22) participants. Further evaluation of all the participants with dementia showed that it was more prevalent in the elderly population than younger ones and the difference was statistically significant (P=0.02).
Conclusions: We conclude that in elderly individual, use of statins is associated with an increased risk of dementia. Further studies are needed to identify the possible mechanisms responsible for it.
Keywords: Statins, Cognitive functions, Memory, Dementia