(HealthDay News) – Continuation of lipophilic statin therapy is associated with a decreased risk of Parkinson’s disease (PD) when compared with statin discontinuation, according to a study published online July 24 in Neurology.

Yen-Chieh Lee, MD, from the Cathay General Hospital in Taipei, Taiwan, and colleagues examined the impact of discontinuing statin therapy on the incidence of PD using data from 43,810 statin initiators who were recruited from 2001–2008 and were free of PD at baseline.

The researchers found that the incidence rate for PD was 1.68 per 1,000,000 person-days for lipophilic statins and 3.52 per 1,000,000 person-days for hydrophilic statins. Compared with statin discontinuation, continuation of lipophilic statins correlated with a significantly reduced risk of PD (hazard ratio [HR], 0.42). This association was not modified by comorbidities or medications. Significant associations were seen for simvastatin and atorvastatin (HR, 0.23 and 0.33, respectively). These associations were particularly strong in female users (HR, 0.11 and 0.24, respectively). The beneficial effect for atorvastatin users was noted in the elderly subgroup (HR, 0.42). No correlation was observed between hydrophilic statins and PD occurrence. In a dose/duration-response relation, there was no significant association with PD for long-term use of either lipophilic or hydrophilic statins.

“Continuation of lipophilic statin therapy was associated with a decreased incidence of PD as compared to discontinuation in statin users, especially in subgroups of women and elderly,” the authors write.

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