NSAID use and dementia risk in the Cardiovascular Health Study: Role of APOE and NSAID type

C. A. Szekely, J. C.S. Breitner, A. L. Fitzpatrick, T. D. Rea, B. M. Psaty, L. H. Kuller, P. P. Zandi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

148 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Epidemiologic and laboratory studies suggest that nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) reduce risk of Alzheimer disease (AD). We therefore investigated the association between use of NSAIDs, aspirin, and the non-NSAID analgesic acetaminophen with incidence of dementia and AD. METHODS: Participants in the Cardiovascular Health Cognition Study included 3,229 individuals aged 65 or older, free of dementia at baseline, with information on medication use. We used Cox proportional hazards regression to estimate the association of medication use with incident all-cause dementia, AD, and vascular dementia (VaD). Additional analyses considered the NSAID-AD relationship as a function of age, presence of at least one ϵ4 allele at APOE, race, and individual NSAIDs' reported ability to reduce production of the amyloid-beta peptide variant Aβ42. RESULTS: Use of NSAIDs was associated with a lower risk of dementia (adjusted hazard ratio or aHR 0.76, 95% CI or CI 0.60-0.96) and, in particular, AD (aHR 0.63, CI 0.45-0.88), but not VaD (aHR 0.92, CI 0.65-1.28). No similar trends were observed with acetaminophen (aHR 0.99, CI 0.79-1.24). Closer examination suggested AD risk reduction with NSAIDs only in participants having an APOE ϵ4 allele (aHR 0.34, CI 0.18-0.65; aHR for others 0.88, CI 0.59-1.32). There was no advantage in AD risk reduction with NSAIDs reported to selectively reduce Aβ42. CONCLUSIONS: Results were consistent with previous cohort studies showing reduced risk of AD in NSAID users, but this association was found only in those with an APOE ϵ4 allele, and there was no advantage for Aβ42-lowering NSAIDs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-24
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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