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Revista Virtual de la Sociedad Paraguaya de Medicina Interna

versão On-line ISSN 2312-3893


PENZZI GONZALEZ, Angeli Edith. Use of statins in adults over 80 years old. Rev. virtual Soc. Parag. Med. Int. [online]. 2020, vol.7, n.1, pp.96-106. ISSN 2312-3893.


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death worldwide, the risk increases with age, with incidence and mortality rates almost three times higher in older adults. Statins have demonstrated efficacy in reducing CVD mortality, although it can have adverse effects. Its use in older adults, both in primary and secondary prevention, remains controversial.


To review the current status, efficacy and safety, side effects, current guidelines and future perspectives on the use of statins in adults who are 80 years of age or older.

Material and method:

Review of the literature of the last five years in MEDLINE, SCOPUS, LILACS and COCHRANE, using the keywords: statins and elderly.


The prevalence of statin use in adults ≥ 80 years varied between 17 and 39% in nursing home residents, 12 and 59% for patients living in the community and 18 to 45% in combined populations. The indications can be for primary or secondary prevention. The efficacy of statin treatment for secondary prevention in the elderly is well documented with strong evidence, but the evidence is scarce and weak for primary prevention. The most frequent adverse effects are associated with musculoskeletal disorders. In the last five years, seven important guidelines on statins have been published. In the 2018 AHA/ ACC guidelines on cholesterol management and in the 2019 ACC/AHA guidelines on primary prevention of CVD, the prescription of statins in the elderly remained unchanged.


The use of statins in secondary prevention is clear, and the benefits are greater than the possible adverse effects, which can be increased in older adults, in the context of polypharmacy due to pharmacological interactions and the main comorbidities that are more common in the elderly, particularly in those patients with prolonged use and high doses of statins.

Palavras-chave : hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA reductase inhibitors; primary prevention; old man/woman; elderly.

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