Elders who take statins have lower mortality compared to those who are not treated with statins, a data analysis has found. Dementia diagnosis appears to have no bearing on the benefits.

Among major statin studies, only 2% of participants are age 75 and older, according to researcher Ariela Orkaby, M.D., from VA Boston Health Care System and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston. In a retrospective study, Orkaby and her team investigated the role the drugs may play for older adults who have not yet experienced a heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular event. 

They found that in people age 75 and older, the risk of dying from any cause was 25% lower among those who took statins when compared with their peers who did not. In addition, the risk of dying from a cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack or stroke, was lower by 20% in these elders. 

“Based on these data, age is not a reason to not prescribe statins,” Orkaby concluded. “One of the most remarkable things about our results is that we found the benefit of statins held true regardless of whether a person was older or younger or had a condition such as dementia.”

Full findings were published in JAMA.