Efficacy and safety evaluation of intensive statin therapy in older patients with coronary heart disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2013 Dec;69(12):2001-9. doi: 10.1007/s00228-013-1570-0. Epub 2013 Aug 14.


Purpose: To reveal and evaluate the efficacy and safety of intensive statin therapy in older patients (age ≥ 65 years) with coronary heart disease (CHD).

Methods: Electronic databases were searched for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that involved intensive statin therapy use in older patients with CHD. Data was extracted and used to calculate risk ratios (RR) by software Revman 5.1.

Results: Five RCTs and 11,132 patients were included in. Compared with non-intensive statin therapy, intensive statin therapy had significant effect on reducing low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels (55.4 %) and total cholesterol (TC) and triglyceride (Tg). Although the results showed that intensive statin therapy had no superior effect on reduction of mortality (both all-cause mortality [RR = 0.97, p = 0.65] and cardiac death [RR = 0.95, p = 0.57]) and cardiac arrest (RR = 1.09, p = 0.81), it possessed significant effects on prevention of nonfatal myocardial infarction (MI) (RR = 0.78, p = 0.008), stroke (RR = 0.72, p = 0.02) and coronary revascularization (RR = 0.69, p = 0.007). In terms of side effects, intensive statin therapy was associated with small absolute increase in incidence of drug discontinuation, due to adverse events (3.9 %) and liver enzymes abnormalities (1.7 %). And the occurrence rates of myopathy, rhabdomyolysis and creatine kinase (CK) elevation were very low.

Conclusions: This results show that intensive statin therapy has excellent effects on reduction of serum lipid level including LDL-C, TC, Tg, and also on prevention of nonfatal MI, stroke and coronary revascularization with small absolute increased risk of side effects. Our analysis supports the use of intensive statin therapy in patients ≥ 65 years old with CHD.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Coronary Disease / blood
  • Coronary Disease / drug therapy*
  • Coronary Disease / epidemiology
  • Heart Arrest / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Lipids / blood
  • Myocardial Infarction / epidemiology
  • Myocardial Revascularization
  • Stroke / epidemiology
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Lipids