Statin Therapy Recommended in Parkinson’s Patients With Vascular Risks

Blood pressure
Blood pressure
Vascular disease can have a negative impact on cognition and motor phenotype in PD.

Patients with early Parkinson’s disease (PD) are at a greater risk of cardiovascular disease, and in turn worse motor and cognitive outcomes, according to findings presented at the 2016 World Parkinson Congress, held September 20-23, 2016 in Portland, Oregon.

To better understand the relationship between vascular disease and PD phenotype and severity, Diane Swallow, MRCP, of the Institute of Neurological Sciences in Glasgow, United Kingdom, and colleagues assessed 2909 patients with recent-onset PD (mean age 67.5 years; 63.5% male; mean disease duration 1.3 years), of which 441 had confirmed cardiovascular disease.

Among participants that did not have confirmed cardiovascular disease (n=2468), 39.9%, 33.9%, and 26.2% were at high, medium, and low risk of vascular disease, respectively. Those with high vascular risk were likely to be older (P <.001), and have a worse motor score (P <.001), cognitive impairment (P =.01), and motor phenotype (P =.004). Over 75% of participants with confirmed cardiovascular disease were on statin therapy; however only 37.2%, 15.1%, and 6.5% of those at high, medium, and low vascular risk, respectively, were prescribed statins.

Given that a high or medium cardiovascular risk is both common and associated with worse motor and cognitive outcomes in patients with PD, clinicians should consider initiating statin therapy, as it may be a “missed opportunity for preventive treatment,” the authors concluded.

For more coverage of WPC 2016, go here.


Swallow D, Lawton M, Grosset K, et al. Cardiovascular risk and statin use in recent onset Parkinson’s disease: findings from the United Kingdom Tracking Parkinson’s and Oxford Parkinson’s Disease Centre (OPDC) discovery cohorts. Presented at: 2016 World Parkinson Congress. September 20-23, 2016; Portland, OR. Poster 29.06.