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Row over statins for over 75s

Thursday September 6th, 2018

Experts have challenged an observational study which rejects the widespread use of statins in patients over the age of 75.

The report in The BMJ says that statins only benefit selected patients, such as those with type 2 diabetes.

The Spanish researchers studied more than 46,000 people in Catalonia over the age of 75 and with no history of cardiovascular disease.

They found no evidence of reductions in mortality or cardiovascular disease among those without diabetes through taking statins – even though the patients had high risk factors.

The researchers, led by Rafel Ramos, of the University of Girona, Spain, say their results do not support the widespread use of statins in old and very old populations, but they do support treatment in those with type 2 diabetes younger than 85 years.

But Professor Jeremy Pearson, of the British Heart Foundation, said: “Regardless of age, those who have suffered a heart attack or stroke will benefit from taking a statin. Previous clinical trials – which are a better measure than observational studies like this - have also suggested that statins can contribute to a reduction in risk of a heart attack or stroke in elderly people who are not at significant risk of heart disease.

“However, further trials are needed to better understand how effective they are in this age group.”

BMJ 6 September 2018

http://www.bmj.com/content/362/bmj.k3695

Tags: Elderly Health | Europe | Heart Health | Pharmaceuticals | UK News

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