A practical approach to lipid management in the elderly

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Cardiovascular disease (CVD) increases in a curvilinear fashion after 65 years in men and 75 years in women and the majority of all cardiovascular events occur in individuals older then 65 years. There are notable differences in the clinical assessment of hyperlipidaemia, cardiovascular risk estimation as well as the safety and tolerability profiles in the elderly compared to younger individuals. Clinical trial data have now demonstrated the benefits of statin treatment in the elderly in both the primary and secondary prevention settings. There is however limited data for individuals older than 80 years. Little data is available on other lipid modifying medication in the elderly. With continuing increases in average life expectancy, preventive efforts will become increasingly important for preventing morbidity, improving quality of life, and reducing healthcare expenditures for older persons. This emphasizes the importance of clinical decision-making and weighing up the risks and benefits of treatment.