Numerous epidemiologic and intervention trials, including many studying elderly cohorts, have demonstrated the importance of lipids in primary and secondary preventions of cardiovascular diseases, including coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke. More recent studies have demonstrated that more intensive statin therapy that reduces low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels to <70 to 80 mg/dL have resulted in more marked cardiovascular event reduction than less intensive statin treatment. The authors review the efficacy and safety of intensive vs less intensive statin therapy. Specifically, 4 such studies with sufficient data in elderly patients, including 2 trials of patients with stable CHD and 2 with acute coronary syndrome, demonstrating the efficacy and safety of intensive statin therapy with high-dose (80 mg) atorvastatin are reviewed in detail. Although elderly patients may be more susceptible to drug interactions when receiving high doses of statins, the present evidence supports the use of intensive statin therapy in most high-risk elderly patients both with stable CHD and following acute coronary syndrome.