As population grows old, the number of persons at risk of cardiovascular events also grows. Though octogenarians form a small percentage of the general population their absolute risk of coronary and cerebrovascular disease is high, but there is still some doubt as to whether high plasma cholesterol levels increase vascular risk in this age group, as published data are conflicting. There is evidence that elevated plasma cholesterol increases the risk of coronary artery disease in older adults, and an inverse linear relationship was found between HDL cholesterol levels and the risk of mortality from ischemic heart disease in all age groups. The relationship between total plasma cholesterol and the risk of death from ischemic stroke is weak in younger populations and is even lower in people between 70 and 89 years, and is inverse for hemorrhagic stroke. However, studies showed that statin treatment lowers the risk of ischemic stroke, independently of age. Statins are underused in the elderly, perhaps because of lack of perception of the real vascular risk of older adults, concerns about statin efficacy or safety in this population, or the increase of comorbidities and polypharmacy which could affect adherence to drug-treatment. Trials designed to address this issues are urgently needed, in order to be able to make evidence-guided decisions on lipid management of the elderly.
Keywords: vastatin lactone, Statin, SPARCL, cholesterol plasma levels, secondary prevention statins, vascular risk factors, very old, Stroke
Rights & PermissionsPrintExport