HealthDay News — There is a graded association between intensity of statin therapy and mortality for patients with established atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, according to research published in JAMA Cardiology.

The study included 499,598 men and 10,168 women with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, all of whom were military veterans. Their average age was 68.5 years at the start of the study. Of the participants, 29.6% were receiving high-dose statin therapy, 45.6% were on moderate-dose statins, 6.7% were taking low-dose statins, and 18.2% were not taking statins at all.

After adjustment for propensity to receive high-intensity statins, the hazard ratio for mortality was 0.91 for those receiving high- vs moderate-intensity statins. The hazard ratio was also 0.91 for patients aged 76 to 84 years.

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“High-intensity statins were associated with a small but significant survival advantage compared with moderate-intensity statins, even among older adults,” the researchers wrote. “Maximal doses of high-intensity statins were associated with a further survival benefit.”

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  1. Rodriguez F, Maron DJ, Knowles JW. Association between intensity of statin therapy and mortality in patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. JAMA Cardiol. 2016 Nov 9. doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2016.4052 [Epub ahead of print].