Statins could be used more widely according to new draft guidelines

12 February 2014        

Pack of statins/cholesterol/hypercholestemia tablets

More people could be prescribed statins to prevent their risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in new proposals by NICE.

Currently statins are prescribed if someone has a 20 per cent risk of CVD in the next 10 years. However, NICE are recommending that this threshold is lowered to a 10 per cent risk. The recommendation is part of draft guidelines which NICE will now publically consult on.

Our Medical Director Professor Peter Weissberg, said: “Reducing your cholesterol level, whether that’s through medication or lifestyle changes, will reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.

“The current guidance weighed the benefits of taking a statin against what was then the considerable cost to the health service. This pragmatic decision made sure that those of highest risk benefitted.

“However, as most people who have a heart attack or stroke have average cholesterol levels and since statins are now much cheaper it makes sense to reconsider the threshold.”