David Fitchett, MD, FRCP(C), Cardiologist, St. Michael’s Hospital; Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON.
Coronary and cerebrovascular disease is the leading cause of death and disability in the older population. Control of vascular risk factors such as blood pressure, lipids, and glucose is important in higher risk patients to reduce the impact of stroke and myocardial infarction, whatever their age. Although total and LDL cholesterol levels are less predictive of coronary heart disease in the older patient, clinical trials demonstrate an important benefit from statin therapy in high-risk individuals over a wide age range with either established cardiovascular disease or diabetes. Older patients with multiple risk factors for vascular disease, yet without coronary, cerebrovascular, or peripheral vascular disease, should also be considered for statin treatment.
Key words: cholesterol, lipid management, statin, cardiovascular disease.