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Statins may have fewer side effects than is claimed, meta-analysis finds

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 14 March 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g2151
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. 1London

Only a few types of side effect reported from use of statins are genuinely due to the drug itself, as almost all side effects were reported just as often with a placebo, a systematic review of randomised controlled trials has concluded.1

The findings are important, as the NHS in England is considering wider prescribing of statins. Draft guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has recommended lowering the risk threshold for starting treatment with statins to prevent cardiovascular disease.2

Researchers from the National Heart and Lung Institute in London carried out a meta-analysis of 29 randomised controlled trials involving 83 880 patients. Overall, the …

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