Experts say there is clear evidence that even among the over 75s, a group not routinely prescribed cholesterol-busting statins, people can benefit from the life-saving drugs.
Lead researcher Christopher Tzourio, University of Bordeaux and Inserm said that one-third reduction in stroke risk, if confirmed, could have an important effect on public health.
The pills had traditionally been offered to people with a 20 percent risk of developing cardiovascular disease within 10 years, but the new advice said this threshold be lowered to include people with just a 10 percent risk.
The researchers concluded that their study results suggest that cholesterol-lowering drugs could be considered for the prevention of stroke in older populations previously denied access to the drugs.
They wrote that their results raise the hypothesis of protection against stroke related to long-term use of lipid (blood fat) lowering drugs for primary prevention in older people.
There have been suggestions that statins can cause worrying side effects, but experts have slammed claims of "over-medicalising" the nation insisting that the benefits of the drugs far outweigh the risks.
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