Is it time for a cardiovascular primary prevention trial in the elderly?

Jennifer G. Robinson*, George Bakris, James Torner, Neil J. Stone, Robert Wallace

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE - Statins have been shown conclusively to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events in subjects with clinical cardiovascular disease or diabetes aged 65 to 80 years of age. However, few data are available for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease in those aged ≥70 years. SUMMARY OF REVIEW - A moderate-dose statin was of little benefit in a population aged 70 to 82 years when given for 3 years in the setting of suboptimally treated blood pressure. More evidence supports the use of blood pressure-lowering medications, but few data are available regarding the appropriate blood pressure target and most effective agents in the elderly. Some evidence also suggests that the elderly could experience higher mortality with antihypertensive treatment. These findings, along with greater safety concerns and an increasing number of competing risks and medical conditions with advancing age, make it imperative to carefully evaluate the risk/benefit balance from treating hypercholesterolemia and hypertension in persons aged ≥70 years. CONCLUSIONS - We propose a 5-year 2 x 2 factorial trial of primary prevention in the elderly that will (1) evaluate whether statin therapy will reduce the risk of cardiovascular events when added to the treatment of hypertension to achieve a blood pressure <140/90 mm Hg in most patients and (2) determine the most appropriate blood pressure regimen for the prevention of cardiovascular and renal events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)441-450
Number of pages10
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2007


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Elderly
  • Hypertension
  • Primary prevention
  • Statins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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