JAMA Netw Open. 2023 Jan 3;6(1):e2249370. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.49370.
IMPORTANCE: Prevalent use of antihypertensive medications that stimulate type 2 and 4 angiotensin II receptors, compared with those that do not stimulate these receptors, has been associated with a lower risk of dementia. However, previous studies were limited by inclusion of individuals with prevalent hypertension and a history of antihypertensive use prior to the start of the study, which can introduce bias.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the association of new use of antihypertensive medication regimens that stimulate vs inhibit type 2 and 4 angiotensin II receptors with Alzheimer disease and related dementias (ADRD) among Medicare beneficiaries.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: This cohort study was conducted among 57 773 Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries (January 1, 2006, through December 31, 2018) aged 65 years or older with incident hypertension. Data analysis was conducted from January 1 through June 30, 2022.
EXPOSURES: Initiation of antihypertensive medication regimens that stimulate or inhibit type 2 and 4 angiotensin II receptors, or mixed regimens (both stimulating and inhibiting), with the time-dependent measure being each 30-day interval.
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The primary outcome was time to first occurrence of ADRD (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Chronic Conditions Data Warehouse definition). Cox proportional hazards regression modeling with time-dependent variables was performed to estimate the association between time-dependent treatment groups and time to ADRD, after adjusting for sociodemographic and clinical characteristics.
RESULTS: The sample included 57 773 Medicare beneficiaries (36 348 women [62.9%]; mean [SD] age, 73.8 [6.3] years; 2954 [5.1%] Black, 1545 [2.7%] Hispanic; 50 184 [86.9%] White, and 3090 [5.4%] Other individuals [the Other category included individuals of American Indian, Asian, other, or unknown race and ethnicity]). During a median of 6.9 years (IQR, 4.7-9.3 years) of follow-up, the unadjusted incidence density rate of ADRD was 2.2 cases per 100 person-years (95% CI, 2.1-2.4 cases per 100 person-years) for the group receiving regimens that stimulate type 2 and 4 angiotensin II receptors compared with 3.1 cases per 100 person-years (95% CI, 3.0-3.2 cases per 100 person-years) for the group receiving regimens that inhibit type 2 and 4 angiotensin II receptors and 2.7 cases per 100 person-years (95% CI, 2.6-2.9 cases per 100 person-years) for the group receiving mixed treatment regimens. In adjusted Cox proportional hazards regression modeling, stimulating treatment was associated with a statistically significant 16% reduction in the hazard of ADRD compared with inhibiting treatment (hazard ratio, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.79-0.90). Mixed regimen use was also associated with reduced hazards of ADRD compared with the inhibiting group (hazard ratio, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.84-0.96).
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: This cohort study of Medicare beneficiaries suggests that use of antihypertensive medications that stimulate type 2 and 4 angiotensin II receptors was associated with lower risk of ADRD compared with antihypertensive medications that inhibit these receptors. Confirmation is needed in a randomized trial.