A study of more than 80,000 persons found that age is a significant independent predictor of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) response to statin treatment initiation. The initiation of low- to moderate-intensity statins was associated with a greater reduction of LDL-C in older persons than younger persons, regardless of whether the statin was prescribed for primary prevention, for secondary prevention, or among patients with diabetes. The findings are published in Annals of Internal Medicine.
Researchers from Statens Serum Institut, the Danish Cancer Society Research Center, Copenhagen University Hospital – Bisbebjerg and Frederiksberg and Stanford University conducted a nationwide cohort study of 82,958 persons initiating simvastatin or atorvastatin, including 10,388 persons aged 75 years and older. The authors found that initiators aged 75 years or older had higher mean LDL-C percentage reductions than initiators younger than 50 years. For example, they note that older persons initiating 20 mg simvastatin experienced a mean reduction of 39.0 percent compared with younger persons, who only experienced a mean reduction of 33.8 percent. Similarly, older persons initiating 20 mg atorvastatin experienced a mean reduction of 44.2 percent compared with younger persons, who experienced a mean reduction of 40.2 percent. According to the study authors, these findings suggest that low- to moderate statins may be more appealing as initial treatment in older adults who are at increased risk for adverse events.