Home Forums Other Specialities Cardiothoracic Medicine & Surgery Benefits of Regular Higher Dose Statins

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    There have been a number of doctors who have recently queried the benefits of prescribing statins for people with raised cholesterol levels. However every now and again a paper is published on the merits of taking statin. Here is yet another study indicating the benefits. A team from Imperial College London looked at data from 30,000 patients who had recently started on medication to lower their cholesterol, either taking statins alone or with another reducing drug, ezetimibe. They estimate that this could reduce the number of cardiovascular events by 12,000 cases a year in the UK.

    They scored patients on the intensity of their treatment and how well they stuck to the prescribed regime.The paper, published in the journal JAMA Network Open, indicates that the biggest reduction in risk was among people on the “highest intensity” treatment, combined with adherence to the treatment regime. Compared with untreated patients, their risk of a cardiovascular event fell by 40 per cent.

    Those on moderate intensity treatment who stuck to the drugs had their risk reduced by 30 per cent, and those on low intensity by 22 per cent. Patients on high intensity treatment who did not stick to the drug regime had a 10 per cent reduction, compared with 7 per cent for moderate intensity treatment and 5 per cent for low intensity.

    While high intensity treatment, aiming to reduce LDL cholesterol by at least 40 per cent in 3 months, is in line with national guidelines, research consistently finds that many patients are offered lower doses by their doctors.

    Kausik Ray, professor of public health at Imperial College and lead author of the study, said: “In terms of risk reduction, we can see the people who do the best are those who are adhering to the recommended dosage and are on more potent drug regimens. But if someone is not going to take a treatment as recommended, they may actually be better off on higher doses of statins so that when they are taking the medication, they are achieving greater cholesterol reductions.”

    Liam Smeeth, professor of clinical epidemiology at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said: “The study highlights the importance of people taking their statins reliably over the long term, and the benefits of using the higher doses of statins now widely recommended in clinical guidelines.”

    This Report is based on an article publised in The Times of London

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