Stick with GMS quality targets for cholesterol

GPs should follow the GMS quality framework targets for total and LDL cholesterol rather then those set by the Joint British Societies (JBS2) guideline, according to the DoH.

Professor Roger Boyle, DoH director for heart disease and stroke, said that 5mmol/l for total cholesterol and 3mmol/l for LDL would remain the targets for therapy as in the NSF for CHD. These will remain the standards included within the quality framework for 2007/8.  

This comes despite calls from GPs to back advice from NHS guideline group Prodigy to use the lower JBS2 cholesterol target (GP, 10 November), as well as findings by UK researchers that call for the current NSF guidelines to be extended to allow more people to benefit from cost-effective statin use.  

The study involved 20,536 men and women between the ages of 40 to 80 with heart disease or diabetes.  

Each individual received either 40mg of simvastatin daily or a placebo for an average of five years. 

The researchers found that treatment with generic simvastatin, at the April 2005 UK price of £4.87 per 28 day pack, was cost- effective in people as young as 35 and as old as 85 years, with an annual risk of major vascular event as low as 1 per cent. 

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