Initiation of Statin therapy: Are there age limits?

Dipan A. Desai, Sammy Zakaria, Pamela Ouyang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death, with a higher prevalence in older adults who form an increasing proportion of the population of the United States. Statin treatment reduces cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in middle-aged adults. However, few studies have included older individuals, particularly ages 80 years or older. We review recent publications regarding primary and secondary prevention of CVD with statin therapy in older adults. Risk scores and their limitations in this population are discussed. The association of adverse effects with intensive doses of statin and their interactions with other drugs may be more problematic in older adults. Statin therapy appears cost-effective for individuals with higher CVD risk but this is dependent on the assumptions used. Evidence remains limited regarding the overall benefit of starting statin therapy in adults ages 80 years and older; thus, clinical judgment remains necessary in making this decision.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-25
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent atherosclerosis reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2012


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cost effectiveness
  • Elderly
  • HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor
  • Polypharmacy
  • Primary prevention
  • Statin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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