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Minerva Medica 2021 May 05

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4806.21.07347-X

Copyright © 2021 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

lingua: Inglese

Dyslipidemia and prevention of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease in the elderly

Tiziano LUCCHI

Geriatric Operating Unit, Metabolic Diseases Clinic, Department of Internal Medicine, Foundation IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milano, Italy


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The atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) represents the leading cause of death and disability in the elderly. The study of atherosclerosis and the strategies to control ASCVD are evolving. All strategies emphasize the need to lower LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) through an appropriate lifestyle and the use of lipid-lowering drugs, mainly statins. Available evidence coming from clinical trials is useful to inform clinical choices but the older people are poorly represented in those trials. Thus evidence supporting the benefit of statin therapy for primary and secondary prevention of fatal and nonfatal ASCVD events in adults aged 75 years and older are limited. The pharmacological therapy of dyslipidemia is recommended by guidelines provided by international expert panels in adults, while in the elderly it is still a matter of debate. Statins are generally well tolerated drugs but their use in the elderly, especially in fragile ones or with multi-pathology that take many other drugs, requires a careful evaluation of the risk-benefit ratio and a shared decision-making process between doctor and patient.


KEY WORDS: Dyslipidemia; Hypercholesterolemia; Statins; Lipid lowering drugs; Atherosclerosis; atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease

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