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Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with Statins in the Elderly

Abstract

Owing to the progressive aging of the population, and the fact that cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death among the elderly, the prevention of CVD in the elderly is becoming increasingly important. Although there is no doubt that statin treatment should be used for reducing CVD risk in the elderly in secondary prevention in the same way as in younger individuals, the evidence that such treatment really prolongs life in elderly subjects in primary prevention is still not so clear. However, it seems that it does reduce CVD morbidity in elderly individuals. Because of limited evidence regarding the benefit of such therapy, particularly in very old subjects (older than 80–85 years), the decision whether to treat or not treat an elderly individual with statins in primary prevention should be based on good clinical judgment and considering the individual subject’s situation regarding comorbidities, polypharmacy, and possible adverse effects.

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Željko Reiner has received personal fees from Abbott, AstraZeneca, and Merck, and grants and personal fees from Sanofi.

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Correspondence to Željko Reiner.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke

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Reiner, Ž. Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with Statins in the Elderly. Curr Atheroscler Rep 16, 420 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11883-014-0420-6

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Keywords

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Statins
  • Elderly
  • LDL-cholesterol
  • Adverse effects
  • Guidelines