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Statin Use Linked to Dementia

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

statin dementia risk

Story at-a-glance -

  • Having lower levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is linked to a higher risk of dementia, according to a study of nearly 4,000 people aged 50 and over
  • A high level of LDL cholesterol was found to be inversely associated with dementia in the study participants, even after controlling for other factors that might increase risk, including demographic characteristics, health behavior, mood assessment and medical history
  • The association was so strong that researchers concluded a high level of LDL cholesterol may be considered as a “potential protective factor against cognition decline”
  • Your brain contains up to 30 percent cholesterol, which is an essential component of neurons and necessary to develop and maintain neuronal plasticity and function

Worldwide, someone develops dementia every three seconds, and by 2030 it’s estimated that 75 million will be living with the condition. In the U.S. alone, 5.7 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, and someone develops the disease every 65 seconds.

Meanwhile, the use of statin cholesterol-lowering drugs doubled among U.S. adults from 2000 to 2011, and U.S. doctors write more than 200 million prescriptions for such drugs every year. In the fervor to lower cholesterol levels — a misguided strategy still being mistakenly promoted to reduce heart disease risk — might health care professionals be increasing dementia risk?

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