Pravastatin is one of the most popular medications prescribed as a preventive measure against congestive heart disease. It is most commonly utilized in adults that are aged 65 and older who have hyperlipidemia, hypertension, or both.
Hypertension and hyperlipidemia are both precursors for coronary heart disease (CHD). CHD is one of the leading causes of death in the 65 and older population. Prescriptions for statins are now a standard treatment, regardless of the presence of early atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.
In a study recently published in JAMA International Medicine, researchers found that pravastatin had no benefit when prescribed for preventative purposes. They analyzed a long-term clinical trial that followed 2867 adults over an eight-year period. Study participants had a diagnosis of hypertension (also known as high blood pressure) without any evidence of early CHD.
According to the study, “No benefit was found when a statin was given for primary prevention to older adults. Treatment recommendations should be individualized for this population.”