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.

Related Articles


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 November 28, 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 November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — One man hopes his invention -– a machine that produces cheap sanitary pads –- will help empower Indian women. Duration: 01:51 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — In Africa's only biosafety level 4 laboratory, scientists have been carrying out experiments on bats to understand how virus like Ebola are being transmitted, and how some of them resist to it. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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