Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie,
MD, PhD, Senior Editor.
To the Editor: Dr Ko and colleagues1 reported that the probability of receiving statin
treatment actually decreases with increasing age and baseline risk for coronary
heart disease. The authors defined baseline risk as the probability of death
from any cause within 3 years. In high-risk older patients, death can be considered
as a competing risk, and it has been recommended that limited life expectancy
be factored into the creation of health care plans.2,3 Usually,
death from cardiovascular disease is the most common form of an event that
removes the risk of a different event. In this case, death from any cause
can compete with the probability of benefit from statin therapy.
Weiss CO, Varadhan R. Risk-Treatment Paradox in Use of Statins. JAMA. 2004;292(2):169. doi:10.1001/jama.292.2.169-a