Analysis of efficacy and safety in patients aged 65-75 years at randomization: Collaborative Atorvastatin Diabetes Study (CARDS)

CARDS Study Investigators, H Andrew W Neil, David A DeMicco, Don Luo, D John Betteridge, Helen M Colhoun, Paul N Durrington, Shona J Livingstone, John H Fuller, Graham A Hitman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: Rates of cardiovascular disease are highest in the elderly. Lipid-lowering statin therapy reduces the proportional risk as effectively in older patients as in younger individuals; however, limited data are available for elderly patients with type 2 diabetes. We conducted a post hoc analysis to compare the efficacy and safety of atorvastatin among 1,129 patients aged 65-75 years at randomization with 1,709 younger patients in the Collaborative Atorvastatin Diabetes Study (CARDS).

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: CARDS was a randomized placebo-controlled trial of 10 mg/day atorvastatin for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease in patients aged 40-75 years with LDL cholesterol concentrations </=4.14 mmol/l followed for a median of 3.9 years. The primary end point was time to first occurrence of acute coronary heart disease events, coronary revascularizations, or stroke.

RESULTS: Atorvastatin treatment resulted in a 38% reduction in relative risk ([95% CI -58 to -8], P = 0.017) of first major cardiovascular events in older patients and a 37% reduction ([-57 to -7], P = 0.019) in younger patients. Corresponding absolute risk reductions were 3.9 and 2.7%, respectively (difference 1.2% [95% CI -2.8 to 5.3], P = 0.546); numbers needed to treat for 4 years to avoid one event were 21 and 33, respectively. All-cause mortality was reduced nonsignificantly by 22% ([-49 to 18], P = 0.245) and 37% ([-64 to 9], P = 0.98), respectively. The overall safety profile of atorvastatin was similar between age-groups.

CONCLUSIONS: Absolute and relative benefits of statin therapy in older patients with type 2 diabetes are substantial, and all patients warrant treatment unless specifically contraindicated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2378-84
Number of pages7
JournalDiabetes Care
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2006


  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Angina, Unstable
  • Anticholesteremic Agents
  • Atorvastatin Calcium
  • Coronary Disease
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2
  • Female
  • Heptanoic Acids
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction
  • Pyrroles
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk Reduction Behavior
  • Stroke


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