Sorting out the conflicting associations between lipids and dementia
OXON together with London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine has led the retrospective cohort study ‘Blood cholesterol and risk of dementia in a retrospective cohort of over 1.8 million people over two decades’, presented at the 35th International Conference for Pharmacoepidemiology and recently submitted it for publication in a high impact factor journal.
This single largest study by far, with the participation of Professor Stuart Pocock, clarifies the conflicting results of previous studies of the association between various lipid measurements and risk of dementia.
Dementia prevalence represents a major burden for health and social services. Establishing modifiable risk factors of dementia risk is a global priority. The relationship of blood lipids to the risk of developing dementia has been unclear. Previous research based on small imprecise studies suggested that people who have raised lipids in midlife might have a higher chance of developing dementia some 20 years later than people with lower blood lipid levels.
Our study found that, in people aged 40 years or older with a blood lipid reading between 1992 and 2009, LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol are risk factors in middle age for dementia occurring at least 10 years after the measurement, in a cohort of almost 2 million people followed over two decades in the CPRD database in the UK. HDL and triglycerides showed little associations.