Statins and older patients: who benefits?

Study shows little advantage in healthy patients but expert says findings are flawed

Statins show no benefit in healthy patients aged over 75, although they do reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in those with type 2 diabetes, a study has found.

The European research looked at data on more than 46,800 people aged over 75 without clinically recognised cardiovascular disease.

They found no link between statin use and a reduction in atherosclerotic CVD or all-cause mortality.

However, for those with type 2 diabetes and under the age of 85, statins lowered the risk of CVD and all-cause mortality. 

“These results do not support the widespread use of statins in old and very old populations, but they do support treatment in those with type 2 diabetes younger than 85 years,” the researchers reported in the BMJ.

Researchers looked at a Spanish database of patient records from primary care practices, including information on