Intended for healthcare professionals


Statins for those who need them . . . and other stories

BMJ 2017; 356 doi: (Published 02 March 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;356:j963

Most people who need statins are on them

When the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published its updated recommendations on lipid modifying therapy in 2014, there was consternation at the scale of the effort that would be required to follow them. But a survey of statin prescribing in a cohort of 183 565 high risk patients in the UK in 2014 shows that 79% of patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease were already on a statin of some kind, as were 62% of patients classified as having high risk diabetes or kidney disease (BMJ Open doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-013255). If the NICE guideline were followed to the letter, however, treatment would have to be changed in about 3 million such …

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