Heart meds for the over 80s: doctor and patient should decide together

27 February 2014        

Elderly couple

Older patients are being over-prescribed medication to reduce the risk of stroke, an expert has argued.

In an article published in the British Medical Journal, Dr Kit Byatt - an expert in geriatric medicine - argues that after the age of 80 continuing to treat patients for high blood pressure and high cholesterol has little benefit to their cardiovascular health.

Dr Byatt believes that doctors treating people in this group should have conversations with their patients about the risks and benefits so they can make an informed decision about their medications

Our Senior Cardiac Nurse Thembi Nkala, said: “This thought provoking paper questions how heart protective pills are used with adults over 80.

This thought provoking paper questions how heart protective pills are used with adults over 80.


“Interestingly, there is still evidence suggesting these pills can be beneficial for some people of this age. Further research would help us understand the pros and cons better so in the interim a cautious approach in prescribing these drugs for the elderly is required.

“If you fall in this category of patients, discuss with your doctor the need for this treatment, who will help you weigh the benefits against the risks. Your doctor should also consider your preference and general wellbeing before making a recommendation.”