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Cochrane review questions evidence for statins for primary prevention in low risk groups

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 24 January 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d480
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. 1London

A Cochrane review published on 18 January questions the evidence for prescribing statins for primary prevention in people at low cardiovascular risk, after finding selective reporting of outcomes, failure to report adverse events, and inclusion of people with cardiovascular disease in published studies.

The reviewers analysed randomised controlled trials of statins in adults with no requirements for participants to have particular LDL or HDL cholesterol concentrations and where no more than 10% of participants had a history of cardiovascular disease (Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011;(1):CD004816, doi:10.1002/14651858.CD004816.pub4). All studies included also had to have a minimum duration of one year and follow-up of six months.

“We wanted to examine benefits and harms from statins in primary prevention,” explained Shah Ebrahim, professor of public health …

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