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June 24, 2002

Statin Therapy in Older Persons: Pertinent Issues

Arch Intern Med. 2002;162(12):1329-1331. doi:10.1001/archinte.162.12.1329

HYDROXYMETHYLGLUTARYL COENZYME A reductase inhibitors (statins) are a marvel of modern medicine. They effectively lower serum low-density lipoprotein (LDL) concentrations with a high level of safety. Several large clinical trials document conclusively that statins reduce risk for major coronary events (myocardial infarction and unstable angina) by at least one third.1-5 This risk reduction occurs even for patients with established coronary heart disease (CHD).1-3 In fact, statins have been shown to lower risk for CHD in all subgroups—people with and without established CHD, men and women, persons with and without risk factors including diabetes mellitus, and people with lower as well as higher cholesterol levels. This apparent universal efficacy has led to widespread use of statins in clinical practice.