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BMJ. 2015 May 19;350:h2335. doi: 10.1136/bmj.h2335.

Primary prevention with lipid lowering drugs and long term risk of vascular events in older people: population based cohort study.

Author information

  • 1INSERM, U897-Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Bordeaux, France Université de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France.
  • 2INSERM, U1061, Montpellier, France Université de Montpellier I, Montpellier, France.
  • 3INSERM, U897-Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Bordeaux, France Université de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France



To determine the association between use of lipid lowering drugs (statin or fibrate) in older people with no known history of vascular events and long term risk of coronary heart disease and stroke


Ongoing prospective population based cohort study recruited in 1999-2000, with five face-to-face examinations.


Random sample of community dwelling population aged 65 years and over, living in three French cities (Bordeaux, Dijon, Montpellier).


7484 men and women (63%) with mean age 73.9 years and no known history of vascular events at entry. Mean follow-up was 9.1 years.


Adjusted hazard ratios of coronary heart disease and stroke in baseline lipid lowering drug users compared with non-users, calculated using multivariable Cox proportional hazard models adjusted for numerous potential confounding factors. Hazard ratios were estimated for use of any lipid lowering drug and for statin and fibrate separately.


Lipid lowering drug users were at decreased risk of stroke compared with non-users (hazard ratio 0.66, 95% confidence interval 0.49 to 0.90); hazard ratios for stroke were similar for statin (0.68, 0.45 to 1.01) and fibrate (0.66, 0.44 to 0.98). No association was found between lipid lowering drug use and coronary heart disease (hazard ratio 1.12, 0.90 to 1.40). Analyses stratified by age, sex, body mass index, hypertension, systolic blood pressure, triglyceride concentrations, and propensity score did not show any effect modification by these variables, either for stroke or for coronary heart disease.


In a population based cohort of older people with no history of vascular events, use of statins or fibrates was associated with a 30% decrease in the incidence of stroke.

© Alpérovitch et al 2015.

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