Regular laxative use linked to dementia risk

  • A prospective cohort study of UK Biobank participants showed that regular laxative use is associated with an elevated risk for all-cause dementia (hazard ratio [HR]=1.51) and vascular dementia (HR 1.65), with an increased risk seen with the number of laxative types used.
  • The study involved 502,229 people aged 40–69 years (average 56.5 years) at baseline with no history of dementia, among whom 18,235 reported regular laxative use, defined as taking the agents on most days of the week for the previous 4 weeks.
  • Overall, 1.3% of patients with regular laxative use developed all-cause dementia during an average follow-up of 9.8 years, compared with 0.4% of those with no regular use.