Most societies, including the ACC and AHA, recommend shared decision making in this subgroup of patients. Now, a new study published this past week in the European Heart Journal suggests that discontinuing statins in patients older than 75 years of age may actually increase the risk of hospital admissions by 33%.
Adults age 75 and older may not need statins . Their doctors usually prescribe statins to prevent heart disease. But for older people, there is no clear evidence that high cholesterol leads to heart disease or death.
Findings from more than 1,000 elderly individuals assessed over six years have revealed no links between statin medication and cognitive decline , such as memory loss , presenting new advice amidst some consumer concerns that statins may have a negative impact on cognitive health.
Very rarely, statins can cause life-threatening muscle damage called rhabdomyolysis (rab-doe-my-OL-ih-sis). Rhabdomyolysis can cause severe muscle pain, liver damage, kidney failure and death. The risk of very serious side effects is extremely low, and calculated in a few cases per million people taking statins .
Telomerase activity is associated with longer telomeres. Statins do have side effects, all medication does to some extent. And some of those side effects reported could also be deemed to be signs of premature aging. Memory loss and weakness or fatigue are both listed under ‘uncommon side effects’ on the NHS website.
If your risk is low, taking a statin or any cholesterol-lowering drug could do more harm than good . Statins have side effects — they can cause liver and muscle damage — and they require close monitoring.
In general, healthy cholesterol levels for seniors are total cholesterol of below 200 mg/dl, including an LDL cholesterol level less than 100 mg/dl, and an HDL cholesterol level greater than 40 mg/dl for men or 50 mg/dl for women.
In the analysis of 135 previous studies, which included nearly 250,000 people combined, researchers found that the drugs simvastatin ( Zocor ) and pravastatin ( Pravachol ) had the fewest side effects in this class of medications. They also found that lower doses produced fewer side effects in general.
Grapefruit and statins: Eating grapefruit , either the fruit itself or as juice , can slow the body’s ability to metabolize statin cholesterol-lowering drugs, which include Lipitor, Crestor and Zocor.
There are many non – statin medications your doctor might prescribe: Bile acid-binding resins, like cholestyramine (Locholest, Prevalite, Questran), colesevelam (WelChol), and colestipol (Colestid) stick to cholesterol -rich bile acids in your intestines and lower your LDL levels.
The researchers found no evidence that using statins caused memory loss or dementia . In fact, there was some evidence that long-term statin use may protect against dementia . Scientists believe this is because certain types of dementia are caused by small blockages in blood vessels that carry blood to the brain.
The most common adverse effects include muscle symptoms, fatigue and cognitive problems. A smaller proportion of patients report peripheral neuropathy—burning, numbness or tingling in their extremities—poor sleep, and greater irritability and aggression .
Statins help lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, also known as “bad” cholesterol, in the blood. They draw cholesterol out of plaque and stabilize plaque , Blaha says.
A few changes in your diet can reduce cholesterol and improve your heart health: Reduce saturated fats. Saturated fats, found primarily in red meat and full-fat dairy products, raise your total cholesterol . Eliminate trans fats. Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Increase soluble fiber. Add whey protein.
They found that compared with statin nonusers, statin users significantly increased their fat intake and calorie consumption, along with their BMI, in the last decade. This article raises concerns of a potential moral hazard of statin use, in addition to the already known adverse effects.