Older people may benefit more from certain cholesterol drugs

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There’s a class of drugs called statins, used to lower the bad kind of cholesterol, known as low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C).

According to a study, older adults may see better results from these drugs than younger people.

This finding was part of a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The research was led by Giulia Corn, Ph.D., who works at the Danish Cancer Society Research Center in Copenhagen.

The Study’s Findings

Dr. Corn and her colleagues gathered data from nearly 84,000 people in Denmark who started taking either of two types of statins – simvastatin or atorvastatin – between 2008 and 2018.

They tracked the participants’ LDL-C levels before and during the use of these medications. About 12 percent of these people were 75 years or older.

The researchers noticed that the older adults had a more significant reduction in their LDL-C levels than the younger participants.

This was particularly noticeable with low to moderate doses of the statins. For instance, the LDL-C reduction in people aged 75 years or older was about 39% with simvastatin and around 44.2% with atorvastatin.

In contrast, the reduction in people younger than 50 was 33.8% with simvastatin and 40.2% with atorvastatin.

After adjusting for different factors, the researchers concluded that there was a 2.62 percentage point difference in LDL-C reduction favoring the older adults.

This pattern held true for both primary and secondary prevention. However, the difference became smaller when high-intensity statins were used.

What This Means for Older Adults

The authors of the study concluded that low to moderate doses of statins appear to be more effective in reducing LDL-C in older adults compared to younger people.

This information could be crucial when deciding the initial treatment for older adults who are at an increased risk for adverse events.

It’s important to note, however, that one of the authors of the study has disclosed financial ties to Boehringer Ingelheim, a pharmaceutical company.

If you care about heart health, please read studies about a common cause of high blood pressure, heart attacks, diabetes, and fish oil therapy could protect 70,000 people from heart attack, stroke.

For more information about heart disease, please see recent studies about drug for erectile dysfunction that may help treat heart failure, and results showing your protein choice linked to your heart disease risk.

The study was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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