A new meta-analysis in the Lancet has found that statin therapy effectively reduces major vascular and coronary events in patients over 75 years of age.
The Cholesterol Treatment Trialists’ Collaboration analysed evidence from 28 randomised controlled trials (RCTs) including 186,854 patients, of which 14,483 were aged above 75 years.
During 4.9 years follow-up, statin therapy produced a 21 per cent proportional reduction in major vascular events per 1.0 mmol/L reduction in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in all age groups. For major coronary events, the overall reduction was 24 per cent per 1 mmol/L reduction in LDL but decreased slightly with age. The relative risk reductions for stroke and for coronary revascularisation were similar in all age groups.
The research also examined the effects of statins on major vascular events in people with a history of vascular disease and those without known vascular disease. Although the authors said there was less definitive direct evidence of benefit in the primary prevention setting among patients older than 75 years, they noted the “evidence supports the use of statin therapy in older people considered to have a sufficiently high risk of occlusive vascular events."