Statin therapy across the lifespan: Evidence in major age groups

Neil J. Stone*, Alexander Turin, Jared A. Spitz, Christopher W. Valle, Sakina Kazmi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


This review provides needed perspective on statin efficacy and safety in individuals under 40, 40-75, and > 75 years of age. Starting with the 2013 ACC-AHA cholesterol guidelines extensive evidence base on randomized controlled trials (RCTs) we added references in the past 5 years that discussed statin efficacy and safety over the life span. In those under 40, statins are primarily used for treatment of severe hypercholesterolemia, often familial, and they are well tolerated. In middle-aged adults, statins have strong evidence for benefit in primary and secondary prevention trials; however, in primary prevention, a clinician-patient risk discussion should precede statin prescription in order to determine appropriate treatment. In those over 75, issues of statin intensity and net benefit loom large as associated comorbidity, polypharmacy, and potential for adverse effects impact the decision to use statins with RCT data strongest in support of use in secondary prevention. Statin drugs have been studied by RCTs in a large number of individuals. In those groups shown to benefit, statins have reduced the risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease with few side effects as compared to controls. This review has detailed considerations that should occur when statins are given to individuals in different age groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-366
Number of pages26
JournalExpert review of cardiovascular therapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 3 2016


  • HMGCoA reductase inhibitor
  • Statin
  • efficacy
  • elderly
  • lifetime
  • middle-aged adults
  • over 75
  • safety
  • under age 40
  • young

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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