Senior citizens with no history of cardiovascular events or high cholesterol may benefit from taking statins, drugs given to people with an increased risk of heart attacks and stroke, to prevent those conditions from happening.
A new study from Johns Hopkins doctors found that about half of all cardiovascular events occurred in patients with low cholesterol and approximately 20 percent of these events happened
in people with no identifiable risk factor of heart disease.
Because of these figures, the researchers decided to see if this segment of the population, who didn't have any apparent risk of a heart attack or stroke, would benefit from taking statins.
Last fall approximately 18,000 people participated in the study that found the medication, when given to an older person with no heart disease or diabetes and with low cholesterol, protected against cardiovascular events.
From that finding, the researchers examined the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to determine how many Americans may potentially benefit from taking status and found the number was 6.5 million.