Efficacy and safety of statin therapy in older people: a meta-analysis of individual participant data from 28 randomised controlled trials

Cholesterol Treatment Trialists' Collaboration

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Abstract

Background: Statin therapy has been shown to reduce major vascular events and vascular mortality in a wide range of individuals, but there is uncertainty about its efficacy and safety among older people. We undertook a meta-analysis of data from all large statin trials to compare the effects of statin therapy at different ages. Methods: In this meta-analysis, randomised trials of statin therapy were eligible if they aimed to recruit at least 1000 participants with a scheduled treatment duration of at least 2 years. We analysed individual participant data from 22 trials (n=134 537) and detailed summary data from one trial (n=12 705) of statin therapy versus control, plus individual participant data from five trials of more intensive versus less intensive statin therapy (n=39 612). We subdivided participants into six age groups (55 years or younger, 56–60 years, 61–65 years, 66–70 years, 71–75 years, and older than 75 years). We estimated effects on major vascular events (ie, major coronary events, strokes, and coronary revascularisations), cause-specific mortality, and cancer incidence as the rate ratio (RR) per 1·0 mmol/L reduction in LDL cholesterol. We compared proportional risk reductions in different age subgroups by use of standard χ2 tests for heterogeneity when there were two groups, or trend when there were more than two groups. Findings: 14 483 (8%) of 186 854 participants in the 28 trials were older than 75 years at randomisation, and the median follow-up duration was 4·9 years. Overall, statin therapy or a more intensive statin regimen produced a 21% (RR 0·79, 95% CI 0·77–0·81) proportional reduction in major vascular events per 1·0 mmol/L reduction in LDL cholesterol. We observed a significant reduction in major vascular events in all age groups. Although proportional reductions in major vascular events diminished slightly with age, this trend was not statistically significant (ptrend=0·06). Overall, statin or more intensive therapy yielded a 24% (RR 0·76, 95% CI 0·73–0·79) proportional reduction in major coronary events per 1·0 mmol/L reduction in LDL cholesterol, and with increasing age, we observed a trend towards smaller proportional risk reductions in major coronary events (ptrend=0·009). We observed a 25% (RR 0·75, 95% CI 0·73–0·78) proportional reduction in the risk of coronary revascularisation procedures with statin therapy or a more intensive statin regimen per 1·0 mmol/L lower LDL cholesterol, which did not differ significantly across age groups (ptrend=0·6). Similarly, the proportional reductions in stroke of any type (RR 0·84, 95% CI 0·80–0·89) did not differ significantly across age groups (ptrend=0·7). After exclusion of four trials which enrolled only patients with heart failure or undergoing renal dialysis (among whom statin therapy has not been shown to be effective), the trend to smaller proportional risk reductions with increasing age persisted for major coronary events (ptrend=0·01), and remained non-significant for major vascular events (ptrend=0·3). The proportional reduction in major vascular events was similar, irrespective of age, among patients with pre-existing vascular disease (ptrend=0·2), but appeared smaller among older than among younger individuals not known to have vascular disease (ptrend=0·05). We found a 12% (RR 0·88, 95% CI 0·85–0·91) proportional reduction in vascular mortality per 1·0 mmol/L reduction in LDL cholesterol, with a trend towards smaller proportional reductions with older age (ptrend=0·004), but this trend did not persist after exclusion of the heart failure or dialysis trials (ptrend=0·2). Statin therapy had no effect at any age on non-vascular mortality, cancer death, or cancer incidence. Interpretation: Statin therapy produces significant reductions in major vascular events irrespective of age, but there is less direct evidence of benefit among patients older than 75 years who do not already have evidence of occlusive vascular disease. This limitation is now being addressed by further trials. Funding: Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, National Institute for Health Research Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, UK Medical Research Council, and British Heart Foundation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)407-415
Number of pages9
JournalThe Lancet
Volume393
Issue number10170
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2 2019

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Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
Meta-Analysis
Randomized Controlled Trials
Safety
Blood Vessels
LDL Cholesterol
Risk Reduction Behavior
Therapeutics
Age Groups
Vascular Diseases
Biomedical Research
Mortality
Heart Failure
Stroke
Neoplasms
Preexisting Condition Coverage
Incidence
National Institutes of Health (U.S.)
Random Allocation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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Efficacy and safety of statin therapy in older people : a meta-analysis of individual participant data from 28 randomised controlled trials. / Cholesterol Treatment Trialists' Collaboration.

In: The Lancet, Vol. 393, No. 10170, 02.02.2019, p. 407-415.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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title = "Efficacy and safety of statin therapy in older people: a meta-analysis of individual participant data from 28 randomised controlled trials",
abstract = "Background: Statin therapy has been shown to reduce major vascular events and vascular mortality in a wide range of individuals, but there is uncertainty about its efficacy and safety among older people. We undertook a meta-analysis of data from all large statin trials to compare the effects of statin therapy at different ages. Methods: In this meta-analysis, randomised trials of statin therapy were eligible if they aimed to recruit at least 1000 participants with a scheduled treatment duration of at least 2 years. We analysed individual participant data from 22 trials (n=134 537) and detailed summary data from one trial (n=12 705) of statin therapy versus control, plus individual participant data from five trials of more intensive versus less intensive statin therapy (n=39 612). We subdivided participants into six age groups (55 years or younger, 56–60 years, 61–65 years, 66–70 years, 71–75 years, and older than 75 years). We estimated effects on major vascular events (ie, major coronary events, strokes, and coronary revascularisations), cause-specific mortality, and cancer incidence as the rate ratio (RR) per 1·0 mmol/L reduction in LDL cholesterol. We compared proportional risk reductions in different age subgroups by use of standard χ2 tests for heterogeneity when there were two groups, or trend when there were more than two groups. Findings: 14 483 (8{\%}) of 186 854 participants in the 28 trials were older than 75 years at randomisation, and the median follow-up duration was 4·9 years. Overall, statin therapy or a more intensive statin regimen produced a 21{\%} (RR 0·79, 95{\%} CI 0·77–0·81) proportional reduction in major vascular events per 1·0 mmol/L reduction in LDL cholesterol. We observed a significant reduction in major vascular events in all age groups. Although proportional reductions in major vascular events diminished slightly with age, this trend was not statistically significant (ptrend=0·06). Overall, statin or more intensive therapy yielded a 24{\%} (RR 0·76, 95{\%} CI 0·73–0·79) proportional reduction in major coronary events per 1·0 mmol/L reduction in LDL cholesterol, and with increasing age, we observed a trend towards smaller proportional risk reductions in major coronary events (ptrend=0·009). We observed a 25{\%} (RR 0·75, 95{\%} CI 0·73–0·78) proportional reduction in the risk of coronary revascularisation procedures with statin therapy or a more intensive statin regimen per 1·0 mmol/L lower LDL cholesterol, which did not differ significantly across age groups (ptrend=0·6). Similarly, the proportional reductions in stroke of any type (RR 0·84, 95{\%} CI 0·80–0·89) did not differ significantly across age groups (ptrend=0·7). After exclusion of four trials which enrolled only patients with heart failure or undergoing renal dialysis (among whom statin therapy has not been shown to be effective), the trend to smaller proportional risk reductions with increasing age persisted for major coronary events (ptrend=0·01), and remained non-significant for major vascular events (ptrend=0·3). The proportional reduction in major vascular events was similar, irrespective of age, among patients with pre-existing vascular disease (ptrend=0·2), but appeared smaller among older than among younger individuals not known to have vascular disease (ptrend=0·05). We found a 12{\%} (RR 0·88, 95{\%} CI 0·85–0·91) proportional reduction in vascular mortality per 1·0 mmol/L reduction in LDL cholesterol, with a trend towards smaller proportional reductions with older age (ptrend=0·004), but this trend did not persist after exclusion of the heart failure or dialysis trials (ptrend=0·2). Statin therapy had no effect at any age on non-vascular mortality, cancer death, or cancer incidence. Interpretation: Statin therapy produces significant reductions in major vascular events irrespective of age, but there is less direct evidence of benefit among patients older than 75 years who do not already have evidence of occlusive vascular disease. This limitation is now being addressed by further trials. Funding: Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, National Institute for Health Research Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, UK Medical Research Council, and British Heart Foundation.",
author = "{Cholesterol Treatment Trialists' Collaboration} and Jane Armitage and Colin Baigent and Elizabeth Barnes and Betteridge, {D. John} and Lisa Blackwell and Michael Blazing and Louise Bowman and Eugene Braunwald and Robert Byington and Christopher Cannon and Michael Clearfield and Helen Colhoun and Rory Collins and Bj{\"o}rn Dahl{\"o}f and Kelly Davies and Barry Davis and {de Lemos}, {James A} and Downs, {John R.} and Paul Durrington and Jonathan Emberson and Bengt Fellstr{\"o}m and Marcus Flather and Ian Ford and Franzosi, {Maria Grazia} and Jordan Fulcher and John Fuller and Curt Furberg and David Gordon and Shinya Goto and Antonio Gotto and Heather Halls and Charlie Harper and Hawkins, {C. Morton} and Will Herrington and Graham Hitman and Hallvard Holdaas and Lisa Holland and Alan Jardine and Jukema, {J. Wouter} and John Kastelein and Sharon Kean and Anthony Keech and Adrienne Kirby and John Kjekshus and {Knatterud (deceased)}, Genell and {Knopp (deceased)}, Robert and Wolfgang Koenig and Michael Koren and Vera Krane and Landray, {Martin J.}",
year = "2019",
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TY - JOUR

T1 - Efficacy and safety of statin therapy in older people

T2 - a meta-analysis of individual participant data from 28 randomised controlled trials

AU - Cholesterol Treatment Trialists' Collaboration

AU - Armitage, Jane

AU - Baigent, Colin

AU - Barnes, Elizabeth

AU - Betteridge, D. John

AU - Blackwell, Lisa

AU - Blazing, Michael

AU - Bowman, Louise

AU - Braunwald, Eugene

AU - Byington, Robert

AU - Cannon, Christopher

AU - Clearfield, Michael

AU - Colhoun, Helen

AU - Collins, Rory

AU - Dahlöf, Björn

AU - Davies, Kelly

AU - Davis, Barry

AU - de Lemos, James A

AU - Downs, John R.

AU - Durrington, Paul

AU - Emberson, Jonathan

AU - Fellström, Bengt

AU - Flather, Marcus

AU - Ford, Ian

AU - Franzosi, Maria Grazia

AU - Fulcher, Jordan

AU - Fuller, John

AU - Furberg, Curt

AU - Gordon, David

AU - Goto, Shinya

AU - Gotto, Antonio

AU - Halls, Heather

AU - Harper, Charlie

AU - Hawkins, C. Morton

AU - Herrington, Will

AU - Hitman, Graham

AU - Holdaas, Hallvard

AU - Holland, Lisa

AU - Jardine, Alan

AU - Jukema, J. Wouter

AU - Kastelein, John

AU - Kean, Sharon

AU - Keech, Anthony

AU - Kirby, Adrienne

AU - Kjekshus, John

AU - Knatterud (deceased), Genell

AU - Knopp (deceased), Robert

AU - Koenig, Wolfgang

AU - Koren, Michael

AU - Krane, Vera

AU - Landray, Martin J.

PY - 2019/2/2

Y1 - 2019/2/2

N2 - Background: Statin therapy has been shown to reduce major vascular events and vascular mortality in a wide range of individuals, but there is uncertainty about its efficacy and safety among older people. We undertook a meta-analysis of data from all large statin trials to compare the effects of statin therapy at different ages. Methods: In this meta-analysis, randomised trials of statin therapy were eligible if they aimed to recruit at least 1000 participants with a scheduled treatment duration of at least 2 years. We analysed individual participant data from 22 trials (n=134 537) and detailed summary data from one trial (n=12 705) of statin therapy versus control, plus individual participant data from five trials of more intensive versus less intensive statin therapy (n=39 612). We subdivided participants into six age groups (55 years or younger, 56–60 years, 61–65 years, 66–70 years, 71–75 years, and older than 75 years). We estimated effects on major vascular events (ie, major coronary events, strokes, and coronary revascularisations), cause-specific mortality, and cancer incidence as the rate ratio (RR) per 1·0 mmol/L reduction in LDL cholesterol. We compared proportional risk reductions in different age subgroups by use of standard χ2 tests for heterogeneity when there were two groups, or trend when there were more than two groups. Findings: 14 483 (8%) of 186 854 participants in the 28 trials were older than 75 years at randomisation, and the median follow-up duration was 4·9 years. Overall, statin therapy or a more intensive statin regimen produced a 21% (RR 0·79, 95% CI 0·77–0·81) proportional reduction in major vascular events per 1·0 mmol/L reduction in LDL cholesterol. We observed a significant reduction in major vascular events in all age groups. Although proportional reductions in major vascular events diminished slightly with age, this trend was not statistically significant (ptrend=0·06). Overall, statin or more intensive therapy yielded a 24% (RR 0·76, 95% CI 0·73–0·79) proportional reduction in major coronary events per 1·0 mmol/L reduction in LDL cholesterol, and with increasing age, we observed a trend towards smaller proportional risk reductions in major coronary events (ptrend=0·009). We observed a 25% (RR 0·75, 95% CI 0·73–0·78) proportional reduction in the risk of coronary revascularisation procedures with statin therapy or a more intensive statin regimen per 1·0 mmol/L lower LDL cholesterol, which did not differ significantly across age groups (ptrend=0·6). Similarly, the proportional reductions in stroke of any type (RR 0·84, 95% CI 0·80–0·89) did not differ significantly across age groups (ptrend=0·7). After exclusion of four trials which enrolled only patients with heart failure or undergoing renal dialysis (among whom statin therapy has not been shown to be effective), the trend to smaller proportional risk reductions with increasing age persisted for major coronary events (ptrend=0·01), and remained non-significant for major vascular events (ptrend=0·3). The proportional reduction in major vascular events was similar, irrespective of age, among patients with pre-existing vascular disease (ptrend=0·2), but appeared smaller among older than among younger individuals not known to have vascular disease (ptrend=0·05). We found a 12% (RR 0·88, 95% CI 0·85–0·91) proportional reduction in vascular mortality per 1·0 mmol/L reduction in LDL cholesterol, with a trend towards smaller proportional reductions with older age (ptrend=0·004), but this trend did not persist after exclusion of the heart failure or dialysis trials (ptrend=0·2). Statin therapy had no effect at any age on non-vascular mortality, cancer death, or cancer incidence. Interpretation: Statin therapy produces significant reductions in major vascular events irrespective of age, but there is less direct evidence of benefit among patients older than 75 years who do not already have evidence of occlusive vascular disease. This limitation is now being addressed by further trials. Funding: Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, National Institute for Health Research Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, UK Medical Research Council, and British Heart Foundation.

AB - Background: Statin therapy has been shown to reduce major vascular events and vascular mortality in a wide range of individuals, but there is uncertainty about its efficacy and safety among older people. We undertook a meta-analysis of data from all large statin trials to compare the effects of statin therapy at different ages. Methods: In this meta-analysis, randomised trials of statin therapy were eligible if they aimed to recruit at least 1000 participants with a scheduled treatment duration of at least 2 years. We analysed individual participant data from 22 trials (n=134 537) and detailed summary data from one trial (n=12 705) of statin therapy versus control, plus individual participant data from five trials of more intensive versus less intensive statin therapy (n=39 612). We subdivided participants into six age groups (55 years or younger, 56–60 years, 61–65 years, 66–70 years, 71–75 years, and older than 75 years). We estimated effects on major vascular events (ie, major coronary events, strokes, and coronary revascularisations), cause-specific mortality, and cancer incidence as the rate ratio (RR) per 1·0 mmol/L reduction in LDL cholesterol. We compared proportional risk reductions in different age subgroups by use of standard χ2 tests for heterogeneity when there were two groups, or trend when there were more than two groups. Findings: 14 483 (8%) of 186 854 participants in the 28 trials were older than 75 years at randomisation, and the median follow-up duration was 4·9 years. Overall, statin therapy or a more intensive statin regimen produced a 21% (RR 0·79, 95% CI 0·77–0·81) proportional reduction in major vascular events per 1·0 mmol/L reduction in LDL cholesterol. We observed a significant reduction in major vascular events in all age groups. Although proportional reductions in major vascular events diminished slightly with age, this trend was not statistically significant (ptrend=0·06). Overall, statin or more intensive therapy yielded a 24% (RR 0·76, 95% CI 0·73–0·79) proportional reduction in major coronary events per 1·0 mmol/L reduction in LDL cholesterol, and with increasing age, we observed a trend towards smaller proportional risk reductions in major coronary events (ptrend=0·009). We observed a 25% (RR 0·75, 95% CI 0·73–0·78) proportional reduction in the risk of coronary revascularisation procedures with statin therapy or a more intensive statin regimen per 1·0 mmol/L lower LDL cholesterol, which did not differ significantly across age groups (ptrend=0·6). Similarly, the proportional reductions in stroke of any type (RR 0·84, 95% CI 0·80–0·89) did not differ significantly across age groups (ptrend=0·7). After exclusion of four trials which enrolled only patients with heart failure or undergoing renal dialysis (among whom statin therapy has not been shown to be effective), the trend to smaller proportional risk reductions with increasing age persisted for major coronary events (ptrend=0·01), and remained non-significant for major vascular events (ptrend=0·3). The proportional reduction in major vascular events was similar, irrespective of age, among patients with pre-existing vascular disease (ptrend=0·2), but appeared smaller among older than among younger individuals not known to have vascular disease (ptrend=0·05). We found a 12% (RR 0·88, 95% CI 0·85–0·91) proportional reduction in vascular mortality per 1·0 mmol/L reduction in LDL cholesterol, with a trend towards smaller proportional reductions with older age (ptrend=0·004), but this trend did not persist after exclusion of the heart failure or dialysis trials (ptrend=0·2). Statin therapy had no effect at any age on non-vascular mortality, cancer death, or cancer incidence. Interpretation: Statin therapy produces significant reductions in major vascular events irrespective of age, but there is less direct evidence of benefit among patients older than 75 years who do not already have evidence of occlusive vascular disease. This limitation is now being addressed by further trials. Funding: Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, National Institute for Health Research Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, UK Medical Research Council, and British Heart Foundation.

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