Physicians' Academy for Cardiovascular Education

Statin therapy associated with a lower risk of Parkinson’s Disease

Exploring the Association between Statin Use and the Risk of Parkinson’s Disease: A Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies

Literature - Poly TN, Islam M, Walther BA, et al. - Neuroepidemiology 2017;49:142–151


Data on a possible association between statin therapy and Parkinson’s Disease (PD) are conflicting and inconclusive. Some studies showed that statins improve the symptoms and delay progression of PD, whereas other trials showed an increased risk of PD with statin use [1-4].

In this systematic review and meta-analysis of 13 observational studies, the possible association between statin use and PD risk was investigated. All studies were conducted between 2007 and 2016, and included 6 case-control studies and 7 cohort studies. All studies together included 4,877,059 subjects, out of which, 24,596 had PD. The methodological quality of the studies was assessed based on a modified version of the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale.

Main results


In a meta-analysis of 13 observational studies, statin use was associated with a modest reduction in the risk of developing Parkinson’s Disease compared with not using statins. When interpreting this result, the significant statistical and clinical heterogeneity among the included studies should be taken into account, as well as publication bias. No exact potential pathological hypothesis has been postulated that could explain how statin use may reduce the onset of PD. More experimental models are needed to help identifying a possible biological mechanism of these observations.


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