New Research Confirms That This “Wonder Drug” Decreases Older Adults’ Risk of Death

Statins Cholesterol Lowering Medication

A study has found that statin therapy effectively prevents cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality in adults aged 60 and older, including those over 85, without increasing the risk of adverse events.

Statin therapy reduces cardiovascular and mortality risks in seniors over 60, proving safe and effective even beyond 85 years.

Statins, often hailed as a “wonder drug,” are a class of lipid-lowering medications that significantly reduce cholesterol levels in the blood. These drugs inhibit the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase, which plays a crucial role in the production of cholesterol in the liver. By lowering cholesterol, statins help prevent the development of cardiovascular diseases (CVD), including heart attacks and strokes. They are commonly prescribed for both the treatment and prevention of CVD, making them integral to modern cardiovascular therapeutics.

A new study of adults aged 60 years and older has now found that the use of statin therapy as primary cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention was effective for preventing CVD and all-cause mortality, even in adults aged 85 years and older. The study is published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Researchers from the University of Hong Kong used a target trial emulation design to investigate the relationship between statin therapy and CVD risk using electronic health records (EHRs) from the Hong Kong Hospital Authority. The study included adult patients over 60 without preexisting diagnosed CVDs who met indications for statin treatment from January 2008 to December 2015. Patients with prior statin use, lipid-lowering drug use, cancer, myopathies, or liver dysfunction were excluded.

Statin therapy was defined as specific statin drugs, and outcomes included major CVDs, all-cause mortality, and adverse events. Follow-up was conducted until outcomes, death, loss to follow-up, or the end of the study. The data showed that in all age groups, initiating statin therapy was associated with a lower incidence of CVD and all-cause mortality, even among the older population aged 85 years or older. In addition, statin use did not increase the risk for adverse events, such as myopathies and liver dysfunction.

Reference: “Association Between Autoimmune Diseases and Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance: An Analysis From a Population-Based Screening Study” by Ingigerdur Sverrisdottir, Sigrun Thorsteinsdottir, Sæmundur Rognvaldsson, Thor Aspelund, Brynjar Vidarsson, Pall Torfi Onundarson, Bjarni A. Agnarsson, Margret Sigurdardottir, Ingunn Thorsteinsdóttir, Signy Vala Sveinsdottir, Robert Palmason, Isleifur Olafsson, Fridbjorn Sigurdsson, Asdis Rosa Thordardóttir, Elias Eythorsson, Asbjorn Jonsson, Runolfur Palsson, Olafur Skuli Indridason, Gauti Kjartan Gislason, Andri Olafsson, Jon Sigurdsson, Hlif Steingrímsdottir, Thorir Einarsson Long, Malin Hultcrantz, Brian G.M. Durie, Stephen Harding, Ola Landgren, Sigurdur Yngvi Kristinsson and Thorvardur Jon Love, 21 May 2024, Annals of Internal Medicine.
DOI: 10.7326/M23-2867

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