Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Many more elderly people could benefit from drugs to prevent heart disease

Date:
July 12, 2012
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
More patients aged 75 and over should be prescribed drugs to help lower their risk of cardiovascular disease, a study published today on bmj.com suggests.

More patients aged 75 and over should be prescribed drugs to help lower their risk of cardiovascular disease, a study recently published on the British Medical Journal website.

The researchers argue that older people are being "largely ignored" by current guidance, yet as the population ages, greater use of these drugs could reduce disability and prolong healthy life expectancy.

Cardiovascular diseases such as stroke, heart attack and heart failure are the principal cause of death in the UK and around the world. Drugs that help to lower blood pressure (antihypertensives) and cholesterol levels (statins) are safe and effective, yet current guidelines for preventing cardiovascular disease focus only on people aged 40-74 years.

Previous studies focusing on patients with existing cardiovascular disease have also found that patients are less likely to receive preventative treatment the older they get, despite the fact that the risk of developing cardiovascular disease increases with age.

So a team of researchers from the University of Birmingham and the University of Oxford studied 36,679 patients aged 40 and over from 19 general practices in the West Midlands, to establish whether age and sex impact on prescriptions for antihypertensives and statins. None of the patients had a history of cardiovascular disease at the start of the study.

Results show that the likelihood of using antihypertensive medication increased with every five years but started to decline after the age of 85. Patients aged 75 and over had the highest use overall (56%) and women were 10% more likely to be taking antihypertensives than men.

The likelihood of using statin medication also increased with every five years but decreased with every five years after the age of 75, although 23% of all patients aged 75 and over were taking statins. Those aged 70-74 had the highest use. Women aged between 65-69 and 75-79 were 5% more likely to be issued a prescription than men whilst men under the age of 60 were more likely to be issued a prescription.

A 2008 study has shown that antihypertensive treatment in those over 80 can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. The evidence for statin treatment in the elderly is less clear because trials have not been conducted in this population, but the authors say that there is no evidence to suggest that prescribing statins in elderly patients causes any harm.

The authors conclude that the older population should not be ignored when prescribing drugs to prevent cardiovascular disease. They suggest that guidelines should be modified and future research should look at the use of statin therapy in people aged 80 or more and that treating those aged 75 and over with these drugs "could be an appropriate place to start."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J. P. Sheppard, S. Singh, K. Fletcher, R. J. McManus, J. Mant. Impact of age and sex on primary preventive treatment for cardiovascular disease in the West Midlands, UK: cross sectional study. BMJ, 2012; 345 (jul12 2): e4535 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.e4535

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Many more elderly people could benefit from drugs to prevent heart disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 July 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120712224802.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2012, July 12). Many more elderly people could benefit from drugs to prevent heart disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120712224802.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Many more elderly people could benefit from drugs to prevent heart disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120712224802.htm (accessed July 26, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming doctors for the low number of children being vaccinated for HPV. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins