Benefit of statins greater than previously thought

Statins are cost-effective and should be used in a wider group of people than recommended in current guidelines, according to a study published in the BMJ.

The researchers have shown that generic simvastatin treatment was cost-effective in people as young as 35 and as old as 85 with an annual risk of major vascular event as low as 1 per cent, a threshold well below current NICE guidance.

Heart Protection Study

This new research used data from the Heart Protection Study (HPS) is a landmark trial of simvastatin undertaken in 2005.

The HPS showed that when cheaper generic versions of statins are used, several years of treatment is cost-effective for a wide range of people with vascular disease or diabetes.

The HPS involved over 20,000 individuals with heart disease or diabetes. They were given either 40mg of simvastatin daily or placebo for five years.

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