Valley Healthcare

Cholesterol Treatments for the Elderly: Context is Key

Monitoring cholesterol levels is significant for all ages, but especially the elderly. People over 65 have the highest rates of coronary artery disease (CAD), so having low cholesterol is important for a prolonged life. But due to a lack of clinical trials on the subject, there are differing opinions on how to go about the matter (there are even some studies that say that high cholesterol may be advantageous in the elderly). One thing is for certain in regards to cholesterol treatment in elderly: it is important for doctors to balance potential side effects with the patient’s current health condition.

The usual treatment of exercise and diet may not be applicable to the elderly. While one can be more active, nutrition needs change as one grows older. Thus, standard treatment includes statin drugs like Liptor and Zocor. These treatments can result in side effects that affect the liver and cause various muscles aches. Muscle aches must be taken with extra precaution in the elderly, especially those susceptible to falling. Other medications cause a loss of vitamins in the body. Dementia, especially in patients over 85 years old, must also be taken into consideration as certain studies show that cholesterol treatment may have an effect on brain function. All these external factors must be taken into consideration when deciding on a treatment plan.

If you are concerned about your cholesterol levels or treatment for yourself or a loved one, please contact one of our friendly physicians at (706) 322- 9599.

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