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Study shows statin therapy can reduce heart disease and death in elderly over 85

IANS May 29, 2024

Using statin therapy as the first line of treatment for cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention was found effective in preventing heart disease risk and all-cause mortality, even in adults aged 85 years and older, according to a study on 28 May.

Statins are known to lower cholesterol levels in the blood, thereby decreasing the risk of CVDs. Previously, the consensus on using statins for primary prevention of heart disease in adults aged 75 years or older has been little because of a lack of proper representation of the population in randomised controlled trials, said researchers from the University of Hong Kong.

The study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, included adult patients over 60 without preexisting diagnosed CVDs. The average follow-up was 5.3 years. Of the 42,680 adults aged 75 to 84 years, 9,676 developed CVDs.

Among the 5,390 adults aged 85 years or older, 1,600 developed CVD. The results showed that in all age groups, initiating statin therapy was associated with a lower incidence of CVD and all-cause mortality, said the researchers.

This was seen “even among the older population aged 85 years or older," they added. The new study showed that statin use did not increase the risk for adverse events such as myopathies and liver dysfunction.

The researchers also acknowledged limitations like unmeasured confounders, such as lifestyle factors like diet and physical activity. 

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