Statins Cut Risk for Major Vascular Events in Older Patients

Effects seen even among patients older than 75 years, though with less direct evidence of benefit

TUESDAY, March 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Statins reduce the rate of vascular events regardless of patient age, according to a meta-analysis recently published in The Lancet.

Anthony Keech, M.B.B.S., from the University of Sydney, and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis of 22 randomized trials of statin therapy involving 134,537 participants. Individual participant data were also available from five trials of more intensive versus less intensive statin therapy involving 39,612 participants. Statin effect was examined among different age groups (55 years or younger, 56 to 60 years, 61 to 65 years, 66 to 70 years, 71 to 75 years, and older than 75 years).

The researchers found that overall, statin therapy or a more intensive statin regimen produced a 21 percent (rate ratio [RR], 0.79) proportional reduction in major vascular events per 1-mmol/L reduction in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. For all age groups, there was a significant reduction in major vascular events. There was a 25 percent (RR, 0.75) proportional reduction in the risk for coronary revascularization procedures with statin therapy or a more intensive statin regimen per 1 mmol/L lower LDL cholesterol for all ages. There were also proportional reductions in stroke of any type (RR, 0.84) that were similar for all ages. Among patients with preexisting vascular disease, the proportional reduction in major vascular events was similar regardless of age (Ptrend = 0.2). Statin therapy did not affect nonvascular mortality, cancer death, or cancer incidence at any age.

"Statin therapy produces significant reductions in major vascular events irrespective of age, but there is less direct evidence of benefit among patients older than 75 years who do not already have evidence of occlusive vascular disease," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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