Association between Use of Statin and Risk of Dementia: A Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies

Neuroepidemiology. 2020;54(3):214-226. doi: 10.1159/000503105. Epub 2019 Oct 1.


Background and aims: The impact of statin on dementia risk reduction has been a subject of debate over the last decade, but the evidence remains inconclusive. Therefore, we performed a meta-analysis of relevant observational studies to quantify the magnitude of the association between statin therapy and the risk of dementia.

Methods: We systematically searched for relevant studies published from January 2000 to March 2018 using EMBASE, Google, Google Scholar, PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science. Two authors performed study selection, data abstraction, and risk of bias assessment. We then extracted data from the selected studies and performed meta-analysis of observational studies using a random-effects model. Subgroup and sensitivity analyses were also conducted.

Results: A total of 30 observational studies, including 9,162,509 participants (84,101 dementia patients), met the eligibility criteria. Patients with statin had a lower all-caused dementia risk than those without statin (risk ratio [RR] 0.83, 95% CI 0.79-0.87, I2 = 57.73%). The overall pooled reduction of Alzheimer disease in patients with statin use was RR 0.69 (95% CI 0.60-0.80, p < 0.0001), and the overall pooled RR of statin use and vascular dementia risk was RR 0.93 (95% CI 0.74-1.16, p = 0.54).

Conclusion: This study suggests that the use of statin is significantly associated with a decreased risk of dementia. Future studies measuring such outcomes would provide useful information to patients, clinicians, and policymakers. Until further evidence is established, clinicians need to make sure that statin use should remain restricted to the treatment of cardiovascular disease.

Keywords: Alzheimer; Cardiac disease; Dementia; Meta-analysis; Statin; Vascular dementia.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Dementia / epidemiology*
  • Dementia / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Observational Studies as Topic*
  • Primary Prevention*
  • Risk


  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors