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Tuesday 25th October 2016

Benefits of statins questioned

19th January 2011

Researchers have questioned the benefit offered by statin prescription for cholesterol lowering in healthy people.


According to a report published in The Cochrane Library, evidence does not exist to warrant the prescription of the medication for people who have a low risk of heart disease.

However, the researchers did conclude that statins decreased death rates.

The British Heart Foundation stated that the benefit offered to healthy people from taking statins was not clear.

The medication is taken by millions of people in the UK and lowered the danger of heart attacks and stroke. It works by decreasing levels of cholesterol in the blood.

Statins can be given by prescription and obtained over the counter at pharmacies.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommends that statins are taken by people who are at risk (20% or higher risk) of developing heart disease within a decade.

Fiona Taylor, from the Cochrane Heart Group at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said: "This review highlights important shortcomings in our knowledge about the effects of statins in people who have no previous history of cardiovascular disease."

"The decision to prescribe statins in this group should not be taken lightly."


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