The Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in Older Adults

Patrick P. Coll, MD, AGSF; Vivyenne Roche, MD, AGSF; Jaclyn S. Olsen, DO; Jessica H. Voit, MD; Emily Bowen, MD; Manish Kumar, MD


J Am Geriatr Soc. 2020;68(5):1098-1106. 

In This Article


CVD remains a major cause of death and disability for older adults. Patients 75 years and older are at particularly high risk. There are compelling data regarding the benefits of identifying and treating hypertension in older adults, the benefits of statin medications to prevent a subsequent stroke or coronary artery event in older adults, the benefits of statin medications for patients with PAD, and the benefits of anticoagulation to prevent a stroke in older patients with AF. There is compelling evidence that antiplatelet therapy should not be used for the primary prevention of CVD in older adults. There is a greater degree of uncertainty regarding lifestyle changes and the prevention of CVD in older adults. Because of the many identified health risks of smoking cigarettes, all patients who smoke and especially patients with CVD who smoke should be recommended to stop and be supported in their efforts to quit. It is increasingly important to include more patients older than 75 years in clinical trials designed to determine the best way to prevent CVD in older adults.