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Research Letter | Less Is More

Statin Use in Very Elderly Individuals, 1999-2012

Michael E. Johansen, MD, MS1; Lee A. Green, MD, MPH2
[+] Author Affiliations
1Department of Family Medicine, College of Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus
2Department of Family Medicine, The University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
JAMA Intern Med. 2015;175(10):1715-1716. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.4302.
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This survey investigates the use of statins in individuals older than 79 years by vascular disease.

There is little randomized evidence to guide the use of statins (HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors) in very elderly individuals (>79 years).1,2 Despite this, the very elderly have the highest rate of statin use in the United States.3 Given that few studies have investigated the use of statins among this population in a longitudinal manner by vascular disease, we set out to do so.

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Statin Use in Very Elderly Individuals, 1999-2012

Years are grouped into 2-year intervals (eg, 1999-2000). A, Percentages of very elderly individuals (>79 years) who reported a prescription for a statin from 1999 to 2012, by vascular disease. Primary prevention is defined as no history of previous coronary heart disease, stroke, or peripheral vascular disease. Secondary Prevention is defined as a history of coronary heart disease, stroke, or peripheral vascular disease. B, Percentage of very elderly individuals (>79 years) who reported a prescription for a statin reported by specific statin type (atorvastatin, lovastatin, pravastatin, rosuvastatin, and simvastatin) from 1999 to 2012. Individuals could be counted multiple times if they reported use of different drugs.

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