Caregiver's Home Companion Caring for someone who has trouble hearing the phone?
 HOME PAGE  SEARCH Go

Posted: September 16, 2008

Cholesterol Drugs May Also Lower Risk of Stroke for Elderly

While the elderly are not commonly treated with a cholesterol-busting drug after suffering a stroke or mini-stroke, they should be because the beneficial effect is as great on them as younger stroke victims, experts say.

“Even though the majority of strokes and heart attacks occur in people who are 65 and older, studies have found that cholesterol-lowering drugs are not prescribed as often for older people as they are for younger people,” said study author Dr. Seemant Chaturvedi, of Wayne State University in Detroit. “These results show that using these drugs is just as beneficial for people who are over 65 as they are for younger people.”

The study involved 4,731 people age 18 and older who had a recent stroke or transient ischemic attack, or mini-stroke. Of that total, 2,249 people age 65 and older were in one group, with an average age of 72, and the 2,482 people under age 65 made up the other group, with an average age of 54.

advertisement
Discount Prescriptions
Within each group, about half of the people received the cholesterol-lowering drug atorvastatin and about half received a placebo. The participants were then followed for an average of four and a half years.

According to research findings published online in the medical journal Neurology, LDL, or low-density lipoprotein “bad” cholesterol, was lowered by an average of 61 points during the study for the elderly group, and by 59 points for the younger group. Those in the younger group reduced their risk for another stroke by 26%; the risk was reduced by 10% in the elderly group.

“We tested to see whether age had any effect on how well the treatment worked, and we did not find any differences between young people and older people,” Chaturvedi said. “It’s estimated that 20% of the US population will be 65 or older by 2010, so it’s important that we identify ways to reduce the burden of strokes and other cerebrovascular diseases in this group. This is a step in that direction.”

The study was part of a large study called the Stroke Prevention by Aggressive Reduction in Cholesterol Levels (SPARCL) trial. It was supported by Pfizer, which makes atorvastatin.

Email or share this story Bookmark and Share

Search CaregiversHome
Find with keyword(s):

Enter a keyword or phrase to search CaregiversHome's archives for related news topics, the latest news stories, timely times, and reference articles.

© 2008 Pederson Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Commercial use, redistribution or other forms of reuse of this information is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission of Pederson Publishing.

_____

View The Caregiver's Hotline in which this article first appeared

Back to Top

Privacy Statement Contact Us Site Map Products & Services Our Partners Advertise
© Copyright 2003-2020. Pederson Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.