US Pharm. 2015;40(9):5.

Columbus, OH, and Edmonton, AB—Despite little randomized evidence guiding statin use in very elderly patients, use in this population increased notably between 1999 and 2012. In examining data on 13,099 participants aged >79 years without vascular disease from the 1999–2012 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, researchers at Ohio State University and the University of Alberta in Canada found that very elderly patients have the highest rate of statin use in the United States. The rate of statin use for primary prevention increased from 8.8% in 1999–2000 to 34.1% in 2011–2012, and the rate of vascular disease increased from 27.6% to 43.7%. “Although the medical community has embraced the use of statins for primary prevention in the very elderly, caution should be exercised given the potential dangers of expanding marginally effective treatments to untested populations,” noted the researchers.

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