Prevalence of cardiovascular drug use before and after diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease
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CitationVu, Mai. Koponen, Marjaana. Taipale, Heidi. Tanskanen, Antti. Tiihonen, Jari. Kettunen, Raimo. Hartikainen, Sirpa. Tolppanen, Anna-Maija. (2020). Prevalence of cardiovascular drug use before and after diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. International journal of cardiology, 300, 221-225. 10.1016/j.ijcard.2019.09.036.
Both cardiovascular diseases and Alzheimer's disease (AD) are common in aging populations. We investigated the prevalence of cardiovascular (CV) drug use in relation to AD diagnosis, and compared the prevalence to a matched cohort without AD.
Point prevalence of CV drugs was counted every six months, from five years before to five years after AD diagnosis in the register-based Medication Use and Alzheimer's disease (MEDALZ) study, including community dwellers who received a clinically verified AD diagnosis during 2005–2011 in Finland, and compared to a matched cohort without AD. Data on drugs purchases was extracted from the Prescription Register by Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical-classification system codes C* (excluding C04 and C05) and modelled to use periods with PRE2DUP method.
Before AD diagnosis, the prevalence of CV drug use was higher in persons with AD (RR 1.04; confidence interval (CI) 1.02–1.06). At the index date (AD diagnosis date), the prevalence of CV drug use was similarly among persons with AD (75.8%), in comparison to matched cohort without AD (73.4%). However, after that, the prevalence of CV drug use started decline in persons with AD.
The decline in use of CV drugs after AD diagnosis likely reflects discontinued need for treatment due to weight loss, frailty, decline in blood pressure and serum lipid levels. It may also reflect the change in prescribing due to adverse events and priorities of care to improve the quality of end-of-life.