Intended for healthcare professionals


Media coverage of statins may have led to 2000 cardiovascular events

BMJ 2016; 353 doi: (Published 30 June 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;353:i3630
  1. Mark Galliver
  1. London

Over 200 000 patients may have stopped taking statins because of media reports of side effects, leading to 2000 extra cardiovascular events within 10 years, research in The BMJ warns this week.1

The study used prospectively collected data from the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink study to calculate how many patients had started or stopped taking statins after the intense media coverage of the drug’s side effects from October 2013 to March 2014.

“Our findings suggest that widespread coverage of health stories in the mainstream media can have an important, real world impact on the behaviour of patients and doctors,” said Liam Smeeth, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and one of the study’s authors, at a press …

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