Statins Reduce Stroke Risk in Healthy Older Adults

Taking cholesterol-lowering drugs like statins and fibrates was associated with a 30% reduction in the risk of stroke in at-risk older individuals without a history of cardiovascular events.

“New guidelines about cholesterol management based on evidence from randomized controlled trials do not recommend statin treatment in people over 75 years of age without clinical atherosclerotic disease, whereas, in real life, statins are commonly prescribed to older people without clinical evidence of atherosclerosis,” researchers wrote.

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“We aimed to study the association between use of lipid lowering drugs and the risk of incident cardiovascular events in a cohort study of 7484 community living people aged 65 years or over at entry with a mean follow-up of nine years.”

Overall, the study showed that those who used cholesterol-lowering statins or fibrates were at a lower risk of stroke compared to non-users (hazard ratio 0.66, 95% confidence interval 0.49 to 0.90). Neither statins nor fibrates were associated with lowered risk of coronary heart disease.

The full study was published in the May issue of the British Medical Journal.

—Michelle Canales Butcher


Alperovitch A, Kurth T, Bertrand M, et al. Primary prevention with lipid lowering drugs and long term risk of vascular events in older people: population based cohort study. BMJ. 2015 May [epub ahead of print]doi: