(HealthDay News) – Statins significantly reduce the incidence of myocardial infarction (MI) and stroke among elderly subjects without established cardiovascular (CV) disease, but do not significantly prolong survival in the short term, according to a review published online Aug. 28 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Gianluigi Savarese, MD, from Federico II University in Naples, Italy, and colleagues conducted a literature review to identify randomized trials comparing statins vs. placebo and reporting all-cause and CV mortality, MI, stroke, and new cancer onset in elderly (>65 years old) subjects without established CV disease.
The researchers identified eight trials that included 24,674 subjects (42.7% females; mean age, 73 years; mean follow-up, 3.5 years). There was a significant reduction in the risk of MI (relative risk [RR], 0.606; P=0.003) and the risk of stroke (RR, 0.762; P=0.006) with statins, compared to placebo. However, there were no significant reductions in the risk of all-cause death (RR, 0.941; P=0.21) or CV death (RR, 0.907; P=0.493). There were no differences between statin- and placebo-treated subjects with respect to new cancer onset.
“In elderly subjects at high CV risk without established CV disease, statins significantly reduce the incidence of MI and stroke, but do not significantly prolong survival in the short term,” the authors write.