Discontinuation of statins taken for primary prevention in older people could increase the risk of cardiovascular events, suggests a new research published this week in the European Heart Journal.
Researchers assessed the effect of statin discontinuation on cardiovascular outcomes in 120,173 previously adherent older adults in France treated for primary prevention. Participants had turned 75 years between 2012-2014 and did not have a history of cardiovascular disease. They also had a statin medication possession ratio of at least 80 per cent in each of the previous two years. Statin discontinuation was defined as three consecutive months without exposure.
After an average follow-up of 2.4 years, 17,204 participants had discontinued statins and 5,396 patients were admitted for a cardiovascular event.
Statin discontinuation was linked with a 33 per cent greater risk of admission for cardiovascular events. This association was stronger for admissions for coronary events (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] 1.46) than for admissions for cerebrovascular events (aHR 1.26).
The authors said future studies, including interventional randomised studies, are needed to confirm the findings and support updating and clarification of guidelines on the use of statins for primary prevention in the elderly.