Hypercholesterolemia in elderly persons: Resolving the treatment dilemma

Margo A. Denke, Scott M Grundy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations


Of all age groups, men and women over 60 years of age have the highest prevalence of elevated serum cholesterol levels. Now that detection and treatment of high serum cholesterol levels are increasing, we need a rational approach to managing elevated cholesterol levels in elderly patients. Recent data indicate that high total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein levels predict risk for coronary heart disease in patients over 60 years of age. However, selecting appropriate candidates for cholesterol-lowering therapy requires clinical judgment of the relative risks and benefits of each therapy and consideration of each patient's overall health status as well as of competing risks. Active medical management of high cholesterol levels, therefore, should be restricted to a limited fraction of elderly patients who are most likely to benefit from long-term therapy. The first line of treatment is diet modification; however, drug therapy for appropriate patients is not contraindicated because of age alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)780-792
Number of pages13
JournalAnnals of internal medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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