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NICE guidelines could put 12 million UK adults on statins

BMJ 2017; 358 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j3674 (Published 01 August 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;358:j3674
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. London

Almost all men over 60 and all women over 75 in England qualify for statin prescriptions under guidelines adopted by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in 2014, a new analysis shows.1

Some 11.8 million people in England—37% of adults aged 30 to 84—exceed the threshold set by NICE for prescribing statins, the authors found. They said that most of these patients (9.8 million) are healthy, with no history of cardiovascular events, and are eligible for treatment simply because they exceed the risk threshold set by NICE: a 10% risk of experiencing such an event in the next 10 years.

Even some people with no risk factors at all are part of this group by virtue of their age. Nearly all men exceed the 10% threshold by age 65, and all women do so by age 70, even if they are non-smokers of normal weight with …

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