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February 1991

Lipids, Vascular Disease, and Dementia With Advancing Age: Epidemiologic Considerations

Arch Intern Med. 1991;151(2):240-244. doi:10.1001/archinte.1991.00400020016004

Elevated plasma lipid and lipoprotein levels are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease in middle-aged men and women. It is still not clear, however, whether lipid and lipoprotein abnormalities continue to be risk factors for cardiovascular disease in the elderly population. It is not even clear what normal lipid values are in the elderly, and whether diet or drug therapy should be advised on the basis of lipid values established in middle-aged populations. Ischemic heart disease does remain the leading cause of death in the elderly, and there is now preliminary evidence from epidemiologic studies that relative elevations of levels of lipid and lipoprotein fractions in an elderly population might be associated with an independent and increased risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, and possibly dementia. Intervention studies are about to begin that will assess various lipid- and lipoprotein-modifying therapies and their ability to reduce vascular disease risk in the elderly.

(Arch Intern Med. 1991;151:240-244)

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