Statin Use and Cognitive Function: Population-Based Observational Study with Long-Term Follow-Up


We aimed to evaluate the association between statin use and cognitive function. Cognitive function was measured with the Ruff Figural Fluency Test (RFFT; worst score, 0; best score, 175 points) and the Visual Association Test (VAT; low performance, 0-10; high performance, 11-12 points) in an observational study that included 4,095 community-dwelling participants aged 35-82 years. Data on statin use were obtained from a computerized pharmacy database. Analysis were done for the total cohort and subsamples matched on cardiovascular risk (N = 1232) or propensity score for statin use (N = 3609). We found that a total of 904 participants (10%) used a statin. Statin users were older than non-users: mean age (SD) 61 (10) vs. 52 (11) years (p<0.001). The median duration of statin use was 3.8 (interquartile range, 1.6-4.5) years. Unadjusted, statin users had worse cognitive performance than non-users. The mean RFFT score (SD) in statin users and non-users was 58 (23) and 72 (26) points, respectively (p<0.001). VAT performance was high in 261 (29%) statin users and 1351 (43%) non-users (p<0.001). However, multiple regression analysis did not show a significant association of RFFT score with statin use (B, -0.82; 95%CI, -2.77 to 1.14; p = 0.41) nor with statin solubility, statin dose or duration of statin use. Statin users with high doses or long-term use had similar cognitive performance as non-users. This was found in persons with low as well as high cardiovascular risk, and in younger as well as older subjects. Also, the mean RFFT score per quintile of propensity score for statin use was comparable for statin users and non-users. Similar results were found for the VAT score as outcome measure. In conclusion, statin use was not associated with cognitive function. This was independent of statin dose or duration of statin use.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0115755

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@inproceedings{Joosten2014StatinUA, title={Statin Use and Cognitive Function: Population-Based Observational Study with Long-Term Follow-Up}, author={Hanneke Joosten and Sipke T. Visser and Marlise E A van Eersel and Ronald T. Gansevoort and Henk J . G . Bilo and Joris P . J . Slaets and Gerbrand J Izaks}, booktitle={PloS one}, year={2014} }