The JUPITER trial, published in November last year, showed that statins can cut major cardiovascular events among healthy people with a risk of 10-20 per cent.
The findings proved to be so strong that the study was halted after just 1.9 years instead of the full five years once it became clear that participants given the placebo had an increased risk of CVD events and death.
The latest analysis, presented this week at the European Society of Cardiology congress in Barcelona, Spain, focused on 5,695 elderly patients over the age of 70.
The researchers found that the use of rosuvastatin 20mg reduced the risk of suffering a heart attack or a stroke by 45% compared with patients in the placebo group.
Those taking rosuvastatin reduced their risk of death from cardiovascular events by 39%.
Berkshire GP Dr George Kassianos said that the findings highlighted the need to change usual practice to include the active management of patients over the age of 70 years who have never had a stroke or a heart attack, and who have normal or low cholesterol.
- Read this week's GP dated 4 September for two pages of news from this conference.