Clinical utility of rosuvastatin and other statins for cardiovascular risk reduction among the elderly
Sydney B Long, Michael J Blaha, Roger S Blumenthal, Erin D Michos
Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease, Baltimore, MD, USA
Abstract: Age is one of the strongest predictors of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. Treatment with statins can significantly reduce CVD events and mortality in both primary and secondary prevention. Yet despite the high CVD risk among the elderly, there is underutilization of statins in this population (ie, the treatment-risk paradox). Few studies have investigated the use of statins in the elderly, particularly for primary prevention and, as a result, guidelines for treating the elderly are limited. This is likely due to: uncertainties of risk assessment in older individuals where the predictive value of individual risk factors is decreased; the need to balance the benefits of primary prevention with the risks of polypharmacy, health care costs, and adverse medication effects in a population with decreased life expectancy; the complexity of treating patients with many other comorbidities; and increasingly difficult social and economic concerns. As life expectancy increases and the total elderly population grows, these issues become increasingly important. JUPITER (Justification for the Use of statins in Prevention: an Intervention Trial Evaluating Rosuvastatin) is the largest primary prevention statin trial to date and enrolled a substantial number of elderly adults. Among the 5695 JUPITER participants ≥70 years of age, the absolute CVD risk reduction associated with rosuvastatin was actually greater than for younger participants. The implications of this JUPITER subanalysis and the broader role of statins among older adults is the subject of this review.
Keywords: JUPITER, rosuvastatin, elderly, risk
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