July 13, 2012
GPs should consider how older people could benefit from heart
More elderly people could benefit from
medication to help prevent cardiovascular disease, according to a
Researchers looked at the use of statins and
anti-hypertensives, drugs which are commonly used to
tackle cholesterol and high blood pressure – both risk factors for
They found that whilst prescriptions for these drugs increased
with age, the use of blood pressure medication began to
decline in people aged over 85, and the use of statins declined in people after the age of 75.
The scientists concluded that the wider use of
drugs amongst older people could help increase their healthy
Our Senior Cardiac Nurse June Davison, said:
"The older population is increasing, and doctors should
consider how prescribing drugs to prevent cardiovascular disease could help reduce
disability and increase life expectancy in this group.
Available evidence would suggest that older people can benefit from heart protective drugs, but more research is needed.
would suggest that older people can benefit
heart protective drugs, but more research is needed.
“Sometimes there are good reasons for not
prescribing certain medicines. An older person may be more
vulnerable to particular side-effects, or already be on multiple
medicines for other health conditions, meaning it isn’t always
appropriate to prescribe additional medicines.
“If you have questions about whether you could benefit from
different medicines then talk to your GP.”
The study was published in the BMJ.