Neither ldl cholesterol nor statins can clarify an elevated danger of growing dementia

Many sufferers cease taking remedy for prime ldl cholesterol as a result of they’re afraid it could have unfavourable uncomfortable side effects. However the noticed affiliation between danger of dementia and excessive ldl cholesterol, could also be brought on by your life-style.

Over 600,000 folks in Norway take cholesterol-lowering medicines on prescription. Nearly all of these medication are referred to as statins. However not all these sufferers really take their medication. Professor and chief doctor Kjetil Retterstøl continuously hears that sufferers have stopped taking statins with out first consulting their physician.

-Many worry uncomfortable side effects as a result of they learn reviews within the media that make them afraid. Some are involved about how the medication will have an effect on their psychological well being in the event that they take them over a protracted time period. Others really feel that statins are the reason for muscle ache and issues with sleeping. These signs could also be on account of uncomfortable side effects, however additionally it is possible that these sufferers are at an age when well being issues of this type usually tend to come up in any case, explains professor Retterstøl on the Institute of Fundamental Medical Sciences on the College of Oslo.

British examine: excessive ldl cholesterol is related to an elevated danger of dementia

A query many individuals ask is: can a long-term consumption of statins improve the danger of different problems similar to dementia? However what’s related to what? Is it the extent of ldl cholesterol, the statins or an unhealthy life-style that result in an elevated danger of dementia?

A serious British examine involving 1.8 million folks concluded that an elevated degree of ldl cholesterol gave the impression to be linked to an elevated danger of growing dementia. The examine was revealed within the Lancet Wholesome Longevity in 2021.

Folks with hereditary excessive ldl cholesterol consuming a nutritious diet haven’t any elevated danger of dementia

In a brand new examine, Retterstøl and his colleagues got here to a unique conclusion than that of the British scientists. In his opinion, neither ldl cholesterol itself nor statins can clarify an elevated danger of growing dementia. The actual cause could also be that life-style habits result in excessive ldl cholesterol.

Their analysis concerned a extra thorough examine of the well being of individuals with hereditary excessive ldl cholesterol. These sufferers’ excessive ldl cholesterol just isn’t brought on by their life-style and by and huge, they don’t eat unhealthily. As a substitute, their excessive ldl cholesterol is genetic. The scientists additionally took under consideration whether or not the individuals within the examine had been taking a excessive or low dose of statins.

-In Norway, now we have good well being registries that we are able to hyperlink our analysis information to. We had been due to this fact in a position to have a look at information regarding over 3,500 folks with hereditary excessive ldl cholesterol and learn the way lots of them had been recognized with dementia. We adopted this group for a interval of over 10 years however discovered no elevated danger of dementia in comparison with our management group of virtually 70,000. We did not discover any distinction between these taking a excessive or a low dose of statins both, he provides.

Retterstøl and his colleagues revealed the examine in JAMA Community Open.

For those who postpone taking statins, you’ll profit much less from them afterward

Excessive ldl cholesterol is usually referred to as a silent killer as a result of it doesn’t present itself by means of signs. Retterstøl factors out that the difficulty with taking statins is that the affected person is not going to discover any bodily enchancment. In the identical method, they do not discover any distinction in the event that they cease taking the medication. However the absence of the medication implies that dangerous processes can stick with it unnoticed within the physique and ldl cholesterol plaque builds up within the arteries, leading to a potential coronary heart assault or stroke.

-A 3rd of the inhabitants dies of cardiovascular problems and it’s notably unhappy when younger persons are affected. For those who determine to postpone taking statins, the profit shall be much less once you do begin taking them. No person needs to take drugs, however doing so is an funding in your future good well being, says the professor.

Seek the advice of your physician if you happen to expertise uncomfortable side effects from statins

If you’re taking statins and expertise muscle ache or issue in sleeping, Retterstøl has the next recommendation:

-Do not cease taking the statins with out first speaking to your physician. Typically in such circumstances, we ask the affected person to cease taking the statins for a short time with a view to verify whether or not it’s actually the medication that’s the supply of the uncomfortable side effects. If the affected person then tells us that there’s an enchancment, we ask them to begin taking the medication once more for a interval to see if the signs return. If that is so, the sort and dosage of the statins could be modified, explains Retterstøl.

The group of scientists behind the examine consists of researchers at Oslo College Hospital, the College of Bergen, the Western Norway College of Utilized Sciences and the College of Oslo.


Journal reference:

Mundal, L.J., et al. (2022) Affiliation of Familial Hypercholesterolemia and Statin Use With Danger of Dementia in Norway. JAMA Community Open.

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