COMING off statins in old age raises the risk of heart attack or stroke by around a third, a study found.
Pensioners should still take the 2p a day pills even if they are healthy, researchers say.
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The cholesterol-busting drugs are known to cut the odds of more problems in patients with a history of disease.
But it was previously unclear how effective they are in preventing issues in healthy people aged 75 and over.
Researchers from Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris, tracked 120,173 pensioners with no history of heart or blood vessel problems for up to four years.
Those who stopped taking statins had a 33 per cent higher risk of cardiovascular disease and a 26 per cent raised risk of blood vessel issues.
Study leader Dr Philippe Giral said: “To patients, we would say that if you are regularly take statins for high cholesterol, we would recommend you don’t stop the treatment when you are 75.”
Prof Sir Nilesh Samani, of the British Heart Foundation, said: “This adds to growing evidence showing statins reduce heart attacks and strokes in older people.
“Age should not be a barrier to prescribing these potentially life-saving drugs to those people who are likely to benefit.”