British Heart Foundation reassures patients: There is no evidence to show statins cause Parkinson's Disease

This statement is in response to a report claiming a possible link between low levels of LDL cholesterol and Parkinson’s Disease, which has been misleadingly reported as possibly indicating a link between the cholesterol-lowering drugs, statins, and Parkinson’s Disease.

Professor Peter Weissberg, Medical Director of the British Heart Foundation, said:

“We are concerned that any suggestion of a link between statins and Parkinson’s Disease would unnecessarily scare the millions of people benefiting from statins in the UK.

“There is NO evidence to suggest that statins cause Parkinson’s Disease. There is, however, overwhelming evidence that statins save lives by preventing heart attacks and strokes.

“This report on a small number of patients with Parkinson’s Disease does no more than suggest there might be a statistical association between low levels of LDL cholesterol and Parkinson’s Disease.

“This is not the same as saying low LDL cholesterol levels cause Parkinson’s Disease, and it is an even bigger leap to suggest that statins have any role in this possible link. In fact, this study even shows that statins appear to offer some form of protection against Parkinson’s Disease.

“Nobody should stop taking statins on the basis of this report. If they do, they will be putting themselves at increased risk of heart attack or stroke.”

ENDS

For more information please call the BHF press office on 020 7487 7172 or 07764 290381 (out of office hours) or email newsdesk@bhf.org.uk.

Notes to editors

- Report published online in Movement Disorders, December 2006
- The British Heart Foundation (BHF) is leading the battle against heart and circulatory disease - the UK's biggest killer. The Charity is a major funder and authority in cardiovascular research. It plays an important role in funding education, both of the public and of health professionals, and in providing life-saving cardiac equipment and support for rehabilitation and patient care.
- For more information on the BHF, visit bhf.org.uk

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