Prescription of statins

25 November 2014        

Statins

Nearly everyone in America who is in their late sixties or older should consider taking a statin, according to a US cardiologist.

Writing in the Journal of the American Heart Association, the cardiologist argues that new prescribing guidelines in the United States mean that nearly everyone would be recommended the cholesterol lowering drug.

Following the publication of new national guidelines in November 2013, American doctors were advised to recommend a statin to people with a 7.5 per cent risk of a heart attack or stroke in the next 10 years.

Statins in the UK

In the UK, guidelines for the prescription of statins are different, with GPs being advised to offer them to people who have a 10 per cent chance of a heart attack or stroke in the next 10 years.

Maureen Talbot, our Senior Cardiac Nurse, said: “Guidelines for prescribing statins in the UK differ from those in the United States. In the UK, people assessed to have a 10 per cent risk of heart attack or stroke over the next 10 years can be offered statins treatment. 

“Everyone in this situation has the opportunity to have a full discussion with their doctor about the risks and benefits of statins and make a decision for themselves about whether they want to take that option. 

“If people have a healthy diet, are physically active, keep their weight down and don’t smoke, they can reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease and the need to potentially take a statin. It’s never too late to make positive changes to your lifestyle. If you are 40 or over and have never had a heart health check you can book one with your GP so you know where you stand.”