Safety and Effectiveness of Statins for Prevention of Recurrent Myocardial Infarction in 12 156 Typical Older Patients: A Quasi-Experimental Study

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Background: There is limited evidence on statin risk and effectiveness for patients aged 80+. We estimated risk of recurrent myocardial infarction, muscle-related and other adverse events, and statin-related incremental costs in “real-world” older patients treated with statins versus no statins.Methods: We used primary care electronic medical records from the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink. Subhazard ratios (competing risk of death) for myocardial infarction recurrence (primary end point), falls, fractures, ischemic stroke, and dementia, and hazard ratios (Cox) for all-cause mortality were used to compare older (60+) statin users and 1:1 propensity-score-matched controls (n = 12,156). Participants were followed-up for 10 years.Results: Mean age was 76.5±9.2 years; 45.5% were women. Statins were associated with near significant reduction in myocardial infarction recurrence (subhazard ratio = 0.84, 0.69–1.02, p = .073), with protective effect in the 60–79 age group (0.73, 0.57–0.94) but a nonsignificant result in the 80+ group (1.06, 0.78–1.44; age interaction p = .094). No significant associations were found for stroke or dementia. Data suggest an increased risk of falls (1.36, 1.17–1.60) and fractures (1.33, 1.04–1.69) in the first 2 years of treatment, particularly in the 80+ group. Treatment was associated with lower all-cause mortality. Statin use was associated with health care cost savings in the 60–79 group but higher costs in the 80+ group.Conclusions: Estimates of statin effectiveness for the prevention of recurrent myocardial infarction in patients aged 60–79 years were similar to trial results, but more evidence is needed in the older group. There may be an excess of falls and fractures in very old patients, which deserves further investigation.

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