In a new study, researchers found healthy people aged 75 and over, with no previous history of cardiovascular disease need to keep using statins.
If they stop using drugs, their heart disease can increase.
The research was conducted by a team from Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital (part of Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris) in France.
Statins are known to reduce the risk of further problems in patients of any age who have already suffered heart problems or stroke.
However, until now it has not been clear how effective their use is in preventing such events occurring in healthy older people.
In the new study, the team examined 120,173 people in France, who were aged 75 between 2012 and 2014 and had been taking statins continuously for two years.
The team found those who stopped taking their statins had a 33% increased risk of being admitted to hospital with heart or blood vessel problems.
The association was stronger for admissions to hospital for heart problems; there was a 46% increased risk of a coronary event, while the increased risk of a blood vessel problem, such as stroke, was 26%.
The team would advise elderly people who are taking statins to prevent cardiovascular disease to continue taking them.
If patients are regularly taking statins for high cholesterol, they don’t stop the treatment when they are 75.
To doctors, the team would recommend not stopping statin treatment given for primary prevention of heart diseases in patients aged 75.
This is the first to evaluate the impact of discontinuing statins taken for primary prevention in older people.
One author of the study is Dr. Philippe Giral, an endocrinologist specialist.
The study is published in the European Heart Journal.
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