19 January 2011
Yet again, statins have hit the headlines with the usual “Should we? Shouldn’t we?” story. The crux of the issue is whether statins should be prescribed to people at low risk of heart disease.
Let’s start by saying where there is no doubt when statins should be prescribed.
- Anyone with established cardiovascular disease should be prescribed statins
- Anyone at greater than 20% risk of developing cardiovascular disease should be prescribed statins
The latest review from the Cochrane Library says that there is no strong evidence to suggest that statins reduce coronary heart disease unless you have already got cardiovascular disease.
The Clinical Trial Service Unit at Oxford says that there is an overall reduction of 10% in all-cause mortality over five years in people taking statins compared with those who don’t.
The Bottom Line
Unfortunately there isn’t one.
It is going to be a few years before there is a bottom line to this debate but you can get the knowledge to understand these esoteric but important arguments on our Cardiovascular Disease Management course.