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Aging Clin Exp Res. 2012 Jun;24(3 Suppl):47-55.

Statins and the elderly: recent evidence and current indications.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Medicine and Cardiovascular and Immunology Sciences, University of Naples Federico II, via Pansini 5, 80131 Napoli, Italy.


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is estimated to remain as the main cause of death in developed nations over the next 30 years, with increased prevalence in the older population. This is because the observed decline in the incidence of CVD owing to improvements in prevention has now been counterbalanced by the increased shift toward an older and thus more fragile population. Statin treatment reduces cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in middle-aged adults. However, few studies have included older individuals, particularly those aged 80 years or over. The adverse effects associated with high doses of statins and their interactions with other drugs may give rise to more problems in the elderly population. Evidence remains limited regarding the overall benefit of starting statin therapy in adults aged 80 and over; so that clinical judgment remains necessary in making the decision to use them. In this review, we present available evidence from randomized clinical trials, as well as relative community and post-approval data directly applicable to the management of CVD in the elderly, in both primary and secondary prevention. Also discussed is the latest evidence regarding the putative protective effects of statins on senile dementia and the relationship between statin treatment and cancer.

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