According to a new study it is observed that statins reduce the risk of heart attack in older people. Long-term treatment with statins lowers cholesterol levels and so lowers the risk of heart disease. This has been shown to be the case in middle-aged people, but the benefits for the elderly have not been so clear.
Researchers at the University of Glasgow have assessed the benefit of treatment with the statin drug pravastatin in a group of 4,050 men and women aged between 75 and 80 years, all at high risk of heart attack or stroke. Half received pravastatin and half a placebo and all were followed up for an average of just over three years.
Pravastatin lowered low density lipoprotein (LDL, or 'bad' cholesterol) by about a third, and reduced a combination of coronary death, non-fatal heart attack and stroke by 16 per cent. Closer analysis shows that death from heart disease was reduced by 20 per cent, while stroke risk was unaffected. Lucidly, people of all ages can benefit from long-term statin therapy. All patients at high risk of heart disease should now be offered statins to improve their survival and future health.