High cholesterol and statins may not increase your risk of dementia

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Many patients stop taking medication for high cholesterol because they are afraid it may have negative side effects.

Scientists from the University of Oslo and elsewhere found the observed association between the risk of dementia and high cholesterol, which may be caused by lifestyle.

More than 600,000 people in Norway take cholesterol-lowering medicines on prescription. The majority of these drugs are called statins.

Some patients stop take their medicine because they fear that the drugs will affect their mental health if they take them over a long period of time. Others feel that statins are the cause of muscle pain and problems with sleeping.

In the study, the team examined if a long-term intake of statins increases the risk of other disorders such as dementia.

Previous research involving 1.8 million people concluded that an elevated level of cholesterol appeared to be linked to an increased risk of developing dementia.

In this new study, the team showed neither cholesterol itself nor statins can explain an increased risk of developing dementia. The real reason may be that lifestyle habits lead to high cholesterol.

Their research involved a more thorough study of the health of over 3500 people with hereditary high cholesterol.

These patients’ high cholesterol is not caused by their lifestyle and by and large, they do not eat unhealthily. Instead, their high cholesterol is genetic.

The scientists also took into account whether the participants in the study were taking a high or low dose of statins.

The team followed this group for a period of over 10 years but found no increased risk of dementia compared to a control group of almost 70,000.

They didn’t find any difference between those taking a high or a low dose of statins either.

High cholesterol is often called a silent killer because it does not manifest itself through symptoms.

The team points out that the trouble with taking statins is that the patient will not notice any physical improvement. In the same way, they don’t notice any difference if they stop taking the medicine.

But the absence of the medicine means that harmful processes can carry on unnoticed in the body and cholesterol plaque builds up in the arteries, resulting in a possible heart attack or stroke.

If you care about dementia, please read studies about metal that may reduce risk of dementia, and cataract removal may reduce the dementia risk by 30%.

For more information about dementia, please see recent studies about factors that could help people get away from dementia, and results showing high blood pressure may lower dementia risk for some old adults.

The research was published in JAMA Network Open and conducted by professor Retterstøl et al.

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