Cholesterol and cardiovascular disease in the elderly. Facts and gaps.
Hypercholesterolemia is a major cardiovascular risk factor that increases the incidence of atherosclerotic diseases in adults, although the association is less well established in the elderly. The role of statins is well characterized for the reduction of myocardial infarction incidence or death in individuals with a history or high risk of cardiovascular diseases, regardless of age. Therapeutic measures recommended to prevent cardiovascular diseases and to reduce cholesterol levels in the elderly, such as lifestyle changes and lipid-lowering drugs, particularly statins, are based on studies conducted in younger adults. This narrative review aims to summarize the main observational studies and randomized clinical trials that have studied the relationship between cholesterol and cardiovascular diseases and the potential benefits and drawbacks of statins use in elderly patients.