Is Statin Use Associated With a Reduction of CV Events, Mortality in Older Men?

HealthDay News — Statin use is associated with a significantly lower risk of mortality in older male physicians, and a non-significant lower risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) events, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Ariela R. Orkaby, MD, from the Massachusetts Veterans Epidemiology and Research Information Center in Boston, and colleagues analyzed data from a prospective cohort of participants in the Physicians’ Health Study (7213 male physicians ≥70 years without a history of CVD) over a median of 7 years of follow-up. Non-statin users were propensity matched to 1130 statin users.

The researchers found that over the study period statin use was associated with an 18% lower risk of all-cause mortality (hazard ratio [HR], 0.82; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.69 to 0.98) and non-significantly lower risk of CVD events (HR, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.70 to 1.06) and stroke (HR, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.45 to 1.09). 

Results did not change according to age group at baseline (70 to 76 years or >76 years) or functional status. For those with elevated cholesterol, statin users had fewer major CVD events than non-users (HRs, 0.68 [95% CI, 0.50 to 0.94] and 1.43 [95% CI, 0.99 to 2.07], respectively).

“Further work is needed to determine which older individuals will benefit from statins as primary prevention,” the authors write.

Several authors report financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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Orkaby AR, Gaziano JM, Djousse L, Driver JA. Statins for primary prevention of cardiovascular events and mortality in older men [published online September 11, 2017]. J Am Geri Soc. doi: 10.1111/jgs.14993