Science

Cholesterol-Fighting Statins May Reduce Alzheimer's Risk

By Christie Abagon , Dec 13, 2016 10:39 PM EST
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Statins are usually prescribed by doctors to help lower cholesterol levels in the blood.  A new study claims that the drug does not only fight cholesterol but Alzheimer's as well.

Participants Who Took Statins For At Least Two Years Lowered Alzheimer's Risk

University of Southern California researchers looked at a sample of 399,979 Medicare men and women benificiaries.  The study results show that those who took statins for two years or more lowered their risk of Alzheimer's in the period spanning from 2009 to 2013.

Effect Of Statins Vary Per Sex, Ethnicity

Julie Zissimopoulos, an assistant professor at the University of Southern California's Sol Price School of Public Policy and lead author of the study, said the significance of Alzheimer's reduction seems to vary based on sex and ethnicity

"We found risk reduction was slightly higher for women compared to men. So for women, the risk reduction and the onset of Alzheimer's was 15%. For men, it was 12%," Zissimopoulos said.  The author also noted that Hispanic men in particular had a much larger reduction rate at 29 percent.

'We May Not Need To Wait For A Cure' For Alzheimer's

Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia that affects people over the age of 65.  It is estimated that about 48 million people worldwide have Alzheimer's.  Scientists are yet to come up with a cure for Alzheimer's, but this study may just prove to be a big step in the fight against the disease.

"We may not need to wait for a cure to make a difference for patients currently at risk of the disease.  Existing drugs, alone or in combination, may affect Alzheimer's risk," Zissimopoulos concluded.   The researchers are planning to study the effects combinations of other existing drugs to measure their effects on the risk of Alzheimer's disease.

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