(HealthDay News) – Regular use of statins may be associated with a small reduction in the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease (PD), particularly among younger patients, according to a study published in the March issue of the Archives of Neurology.
Xiang Gao, M.D., PhD, of the Harvard University School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues prospectively studied 38,192 men and 90,874 women participating in the Health Professional Follow-up Study and the Nurses’ Health Study. Questionnaire information on regular cholesterol lowering drug use (at least two times/week) was collected in 1994 in both cohorts.
The researchers found that, over 12 years of follow-up, there were 644 incident cases of PD (338 women and 306 men). Compared with nonusers, current statin users had a reduced risk of PD (adjusted pooled relative risk [RR], 0.74; P=0.049). There was a significant association for participants <60 years at baseline (adjusted pooled RR, 0.31; P=0.02), an association not seen among those who were older (adjusted pooled RR, 0.83; P=0.25).
“We observed an association between regular use of statins and lower risk of developing PD, particularly among younger participants,” the authors write. “Given the potential adverse effects of statins, further prospective observational studies are needed to explore the potential effects of different subtypes of statins on risk of PD and other neurodegenerative diseases.”
One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.