Statin users with dementia have a 22% lower risk of death when compared to non-users with similar characteristics, according to a large new cohort study presented on Monday at the 5th European Academy of Neurology Congress in Oslo, Norway.

The registry analysis of nearly 45,000 Swedish dementia patients also revealed that dementia patients who use statins have a 23% lower risk of stroke and that those with vascular dementia, the second leading cause of dementia after Alzheimer’s disease, have a 29% lower mortality risk than patients who do not take statins.

It’s been shown that survival and the risk of stroke in dementia patients are likely influenced by many factors, but the effect of statins on outcomes has until now been unclear, the researchers wrote. While the current study does not prove that statins caused the decline in mortality, “our results are encouraging and suggest that patients with dementia benefit from statins to a similar extent than patients without dementia,” concluded Sara Garcia-Ptacek, Ph.D., from the Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.