Cholesterol and Older Adults

Higher total cholesterol was associated with a lower risk of noncardiovascular mortality in older adults. This association varied across the late-life span and was stronger in older age groups.  This was from a study in the Journal of American Geriatrics in October of this year.  So should we be treating these patients with statins?  Probably not.  But what about our quality numbers?  Uh….they may need to revise the indicators. But….but….and now you know why this job is so confusing and we need to be able to adapt when more information keeps coming.

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  2 comments for “Cholesterol and Older Adults

  1. David Littleboy
    February 1, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    “should we be treating these patients with statins? Probably not.”

    I submint that you are asking the wrong question. What you want to know is do statins improve endpoints in elderly patients. (I.e. cholosteral levels are just and indicator; cardiovascular disease is the thing you are trying to prevent.) This article* argues that older patients actually do better on statins than not. (The author has worked for drug companies, though. Still, the conclusion seems reasonable given the references: “Further research is warranted, but in the interim, judicious application of statin therapy to higher-risk elderly patients is appropriate.”)


  2. Griff
    January 30, 2012 at 8:10 am

    First, eggs were good, then bad, now they are good again. The Greeks had it right with their intent for moderation. Unfortunately, it is impossible to put “some” into a spreadsheet and have it total out where an accountant can say whether a standard is met or not. BTW, the same issue goes for weight. After the age of 70, being “overweight” actually improved length and quality of life (don’t have the citation but believe it was also JAG).

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