Abstract / Description of output

Previous studies on the relationship between anticholinergic drugs and dementia have reported heterogeneous results. This variability could be due to different anticholinergic scales and differential effects of distinct classes of drugs.

Using Cox proportional hazards models, we computed the association between annual anticholinergic burden (AChB) and the risk of dementia in UK Biobank with linked general practitioner prescription records between the years 2000 and 2015 (n = 171,775).

AChB according to most anticholinergic scales (standardized odds ratio range: 1.027–1.125) and the slope of the AChB trajectory (hazard ratio = 1.094; 95% confidence interval: 1.068–1.119) were predictive of dementia. However, the association between AChB and dementia held only for some classes of drugs, especially antidepressants, antiepileptics, and antidiuretics.

The heterogeneity in previous findings may partially be due to different effects for different classes of drugs. Future studies should establish differences in more detail and further examine the practicality of a general measure of AChB relating to the risk of dementia.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12290
Pages (from-to)e12290
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia: Translational Research and Clinical Interventions
Issue number1
Early online date12 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • anticholinergic drugs
  • cohort study
  • dementia
  • prescription drugs
  • primary care


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