Intended for healthcare professionals


Statins as the new aspirin

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: (Published 30 March 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:789

Conclusions from the heart protection study were premature

  1. Uffe Ravnskov, independent researcher
  1. Magle Stora Kyrkogata 9, S-22350 Lund, Sweden
  2. West Midlands Centre for Adverse Drug Reaction Reporting, City Hospital NHS Trust, Birmingham B18 7QH

    EDITOR—With reference to the news item by Kmietowicz, in their press release the directors of the heart protection study did not mention that their results were substantially worse than in the previous Scandinavian simvastatin survival study (4S) (table). 1 2 3

    View this table:

    Absolute risk reduction (%) in two trials of simvastatin

    The way the results were presented exaggerates the benefit for the individual patient. The most interesting figure is survival because most myocardial infarctions heal with minimal cardiac dysfunction, if any. Tell a patient that his chance not to die in five years without statin treatment is 85.4% and that simvastatin treatment can increase this to …

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