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Atorvastatin and cardiovascular risk in the elderly – patient considerations

Authors Acharjee S, Welty FK

Published 6 June 2008 Volume 2008:3(2) Pages 299—314


Subroto Acharjee, Francine K Welty

Division of Cardiology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA

Abstract: Elderly individuals are at increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) and account for a majority of CHD deaths. Several clinical trials have assessed the beneficial effects of statins in individuals with, or at risk of developing, CHD. These trials provide evidence that statins reduce risk and improve clinical outcomes even in older patients; however, statin therapy remains under-utilized among the aged. Atorvastatin has been widely investigated among the older subjects and has the greatest magnitude of favorable effects on clinical outcomes of CHD. The pharmacokinetic properties of atorvastatin allow it to be used every other day, a factor which may decrease adverse events and be especially important in the elderly. The purpose of this article is to review the evidence available from randomized clinical trials regarding the safety and efficacy of atorvastatin in primary and secondary prevention of CHD and stroke in older patients and to discuss issues such as drug interactions, patient compliance and cost-effectiveness, which affect prescription of lipid-lowering therapy among older patients.

Keywords: atorvastatin, statins, HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, coronary heart disease, elderly patients

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