The changing pattern of statin use in people with dementia: A population-based study

Leonie Picton, J. Simon Bell, Johnson George, Maarit Jaana Korhonen, Jenni Ilomäki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Background: After a dementia diagnosis, goals of care are often reassessed, including the use of preventive medications like statins. Objective: To examine changes in statin use after initiating medication for managing dementia. Methods: A case-crossover study utilizing medication dispensing data from the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) 10% random sample was conducted. Use of statins was compared in the 12 months pre- and post-initiation (pre-period and post-period) of anti-dementia medications or risperidone for behavioural symptoms of dementia. Individuals aged ≥65 years who had their first dispensing of anti-dementia medication or risperidone between July 2006 and June 2017 and survived ≥12 months after their first supply were included. Conditional logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for change in statin use in the discordant pairs. Results: The cohort (n = 19,809) had a median age of 81 years and 61% were female. Statins were less likely to be used after initiating anti-dementia medication or risperidone (OR 0.50; 95%CI 0.45–0.55). The OR for statin use in the post-period versus the pre-period decreased annually over the 11 years from 1.21; 95%CI 0.84–1.75 in 2006–7 to 0.31; 95%CI 0.24–0.41 in 2016–17 (p for interaction <0.05). Conclusion: Statins are more likely to be ceased than started after initiating medication for dementia. This may reflect changes in goals of care, or changes in the interpretation of the available evidence for the safety and efficacy of statins in older people living with dementia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-201
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Clinical Lipidology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • Australia
  • Dementia
  • Drug utilization
  • Statins

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