Coronary heart disease, hypertension, and dyslipidemia are highly prevalent and commonly coexist in people who are middle-aged and older. Previous data suggested that lowering cholesterol concentrations in individuals at high risk of cardiovascular disease improved clinical outcomes. Xuezhikang, a partial extract of red yeast rice containing statin, has a marked impact on lipids. The purpose of this study, therefore, was to evaluate the impact of Xuezhikang on reducing cardiovascular events and mortality in elderly Chinese hypertensive patients with a history of myocardial infarction (MI) enrolled in the Chinese Coronary Secondary Prevention Study. In this randomized trial, 1530 elderly hypertensive patients (> or = 65-years-old) with previous MI were assigned either to placebo (n = 758) or to Xuezhikang (n = 772) daily for an average of 4.5 years. The primary endpoint was recurrent coronary events; the secondary endpoint was all-cause mortality and other clinical events, including adverse effects. There were 68 cases of coronary events (8.8%) detected in the Xuezhikang group and 108 cases (14.3%) in the placebo group (38.2% risk reduction by Xuezhikang therapy). Death from coronary heart disease (CHD) totaled 49 cases in the Xuezhikang group (6.4%) and 68 cases in the placebo group (9.0%), indicating that Xuezhikang significantly decreased the risk of CHD death by 29.2%. Our study demonstrated that Xuezhikang therapy could effectively and safely reduce cardiovascular events and all-cause death in Chinese elderly hypertensive patients with previous MI. This finding may have an important implication for the treatment of elderly hypertensive patients with CHD.