This site is intended for health professionals only

Healthy people could receive cholesterol-lowering drugs

10 February 2009

Share this article

Millions of healthy people could be prescribed cholesterol-lowering drugs after research found they can cut the risk of heart attack by almost a half, it has been reported.

One in four adults aged over 40 will be prescribed statins on the NHS under plans to reduce the risk of heart attacks, even though they may show no obvious sign of illness, according to the Daily Telegraph.

Professor Roger Boyle told the paper that the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) will review whether more patients who show no signs of being unwell should receive statins after research showed the drugs are more effective than previously thought in people who appear healthy.

Calls for everyone over the age of 50 to receive the prescription, which consists of a daily pill costing as little as 34p a month, have been criticised with many seeing it as needlessly “medicalising” healthy people.

But Professor Boyle said GPs are to be instructed to assess the heart-attack risk in all over-40s this year.

He said: “The research confirms the benefits of statins throughout the stages of heart disease and it is a powerful indicator of the safety of this kind of treatment.”

Copyright © Press Association 2009

National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence

Your comments (terms and conditions apply):

“I am over 50 (and then some). I eat a healthy diet, excercise and will be on Everest next year. If I am offered statins I am going to be seriously ticked off. Nanny state gone mad – perhaps I could send them to whichever idiot dreamed this one up. I serioulsy suspect they have some cholesterol plaques in their brain. How did we all manage before this ridiculous nanny
state?” – Name and address withheld