Research News

Benefits of statins have been underestimated and harms overstated, review finds

BMJ 2016; 354 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i4893 (Published 09 September 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i4893
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. London

People are confused about statins because too much emphasis is placed on observational studies and too little on randomised controlled trials (RCTs), a review published in the Lancet shows. The benefits have been underplayed and the harms exaggerated as a result of this misperception, the authors argue.1

Richard Horton, editor of the Lancet, said that the controversy over statins had probably harmed the health of thousands of people across the United Kingdom and that the review aimed to better inform patients and their doctors. “We hope the impact will be to correct the public record about the safety and efficacy of statins but also to highlight the problems about unreliable evidence and minority opinions,” Horton told a media briefing at the Science Media Centre in London on Wednesday.

Rory Collins of the University of Oxford, the review’s lead author, said that …

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