Statins cut the risk of death by heart attack by over a quarter in men, according to a study published today in Circulation.
The study, conducted by researchers at Imperial College London, focused on men with high levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol and no other risk factors or signs of heart disease.
Statins reduce cholesterol
Previous research has shown the benefit of statins for reducing high cholesterol and heart disease risk amongst different patient populations. However, until now there has been no conclusive evidence from trials for current guidelines on statin usage for people with very high levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and no other heart disease risk factors.
After studying mortality over a 20-year period, the researchers showed that 40mg daily of pravastatin, a relatively weak type of statin, reduced deaths from heart disease in participants by more than a quarter.
Our medical director, Professor Sir Nilesh Samani, said:
“This research further demonstrates the benefits of statins for people who have high levels of cholesterol in their blood. It shows the enduring and long term benefit of taking statins, including the extent to which they reduce the risk of dying from heart disease, which can only be seen in a study of this length.
“The role of cholesterol in causing heart disease has been disputed by some, but this paper provides yet more evidence of the link, and the benefits of statins to prevent heart disease."