Statins, BP drugs control heart diseases in the elderly

Toronto, April 22 (IANS) Researchers have found that cholesterol-lowering and blood pressure-controlling therapies can be the most effective treatment for reducing heart diseases in older adults but the treatment needs to be individualised.

The study provided substantial evidence that statin therapy reduces the risk of both a heart attack and a stroke, although close monitoring of adverse events is needed.

The researchers also found that relative reduction of risk with appropriate therapy may actually be higher in older adults than in younger people and primary prevention of heart diseases can improve health and reduce future healthcare costs.

“Some assume elderly individuals may not have the life expectancy to derive benefit from preventive cardiovascular therapy. However, their baseline level of risk and subsequent relative risk reduction with appropriate therapy, may actually be higher than in younger patients,” said Michelle M Graham from University of Alberta in Canada.

Blood pressure control is paramount to prevent cardiovascular events and mortality in elderly patients.

“Prevention of a first cardiovascular event in elderly patients should be individualised based on consideration of the current evidence, as well as goals of therapy, functionality and frailty, comorbidities and concomitant medications,” added Graham in a paper published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology.

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