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NICE issues new standard on statins and CVD treatment

4 September 2015

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The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued a new quality standard on cardiovascular disease (CVD) assessment and treatment.

CVD is the leading cause of death in England and Wales, accounting for almost one‑third of all deaths, and predominantly affects people older than 50 years.

Adults under 85 years with an estimated increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) should be offered a full formal risk assessment using the QRISK2 tool, the standard said.

If an adult has a 10‑year risk of CVD of 10% or more, they should be assessed for secondary causes and receive advice on lifestyle changes before any offer of statin therapy.

If lifestyle changes are ineffective or inappropriate, discuss the risks and benefits of starting statin therapy with their healthcare professional.

In terms of medicine, adults choosing statin therapy for the primary prevention of CVD should be offered atorvastatin 20mg, adults with newly diagnosed CVD are offered atorvastatin 80mg.

Adults on a high‑intensity statin who have side effects should be offered a lower dose or an alternative statin and adults on a high‑intensity statin should have a repeat measurement of lipids and liver transaminases after three months of treatment.