Doctors 'reassured' on statins in over-75s

The drugs show benefits in older patients and may be justified in all age groups, Aussie research shows

Doctors can be reassured that patients are not automatically “too old” for statin therapy, with a major Australian-led review showing the medications provide cardiovascular benefits for the over-75s.

Statins are safe, effective and reduce the risk of vascular events in all age groups studied, including those older than 75, say the authors of a review published in the Lancet.

The study finds that for every reduction of 1mmol/L in LDL-cholesterol, the risk of a major vascular event — including MI, stroke and coronary revascularisations — is reduced by 13% in patients over 75.

While the risk of a major coronary event in these oldest patients was reduced by 18% compared with placebo, the results for stroke and coronary revascularisation failed to reach significance, probably because of the small number of elderly patients in these categories, the authors said.

“We now have