Prospective Study of Statin Use and Risk of Parkinson Disease

Study Questions:

What is the association of statin use and risk of Parkinson disease (PD)?


This was a prospective study including 38,192 men and 90,874 women participating in two ongoing US cohorts, the Health Professional Follow-up Study and the Nurses’ Health Study. Information on regular cholesterol-lowering drug use (≥2 times/week) was collected in 1994 in both cohorts via questionnaire. Relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals were computed using Cox proportional hazard models adjusting for age, smoking, caffeine intake, duration of hypercholesterolemia, and other covariates. The main outcome measure was incident PD.


During 12 years of follow-up (1994-2006), the authors documented 644 incident PD cases (338 women and 306 men). The risk of PD was lower among current statin users (adjusted pooled RR, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.54-1.00; p = 0.049) relative to nonusers. A significant association was observed in participants younger than 60 years at baseline (adjusted pooled RR, 0.31; 95% CI, 0.11-0.86; p = 0.02), but not among those who were older (adjusted pooled RR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.60-1.14; p = 0.25) (p for interaction = 0.03).


The authors concluded that regular use of statins was associated with a modest reduction in PD risk.


The current study reports an association between regular use of statins and lower risk of developing PD. This observed association between statin use and lower PD risk is consistent with the results of in vivo and in vitro experimental studies in models of PD, which suggest that statins could alleviate neuroinflammation and reduce PD risk. Given that the results were only marginally significant and could be due to chance, additional prospective studies are needed to explore the potential effects of different subtypes of statins on risk of PD and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Clinical Topics: Dyslipidemia, Prevention, Homozygous Familial Hypercholesterolemia, Lipid Metabolism, Nonstatins, Novel Agents, Statins, Smoking

Keywords: Outcome Assessment (Health Care), Risk, Follow-Up Studies, Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors, Hypercholesterolemia, Smoking, Cholesterol, Caffeine, Proportional Hazards Models, Neurodegenerative Diseases, Disclosure, Cardiovascular Diseases, Parkinson Disease, Questionnaires, Confidence Intervals

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