Qrisk of 13.5%, soon to be 14.5% and offered a statin. What would anyone here do?

The dr knew I'd refuse it and I did! Firstly I asked her if she would take one if offered and she said NO!! She felt NICE wasn't right to be offering them to everyone with a risk over 10% if they have no other problems regarding their heart health.

I've just had my BP meds reduced at a 6 month check. Have been on meds for 15months and Losartan 50mg for the past 9 months, nothing else added and now she has reduced it to 25mg. The home average for the past 6 days was 122/75 [of course when she took it in the surgery it was 160 something: it's always high in the surgery and I can always feel/hear my heart pounding as I sit in the chair!] However I don't know if it is the meds that have kept the BP down or the weight I lost over 12 months plus the daily walking I do. I guess I need to keep a careful eye on things and return if it goes up.

I did feel cross though at being automatically offered a statin : I'm 71 and will be 72 next month so the risk rises automatically. It's only a risk anyway - I take my life in my hands each time I cross a main road!

15 Replies

  • So did you get offered the statin on age and BP meds alone?

  • Well it comes to that of course, but in fact it was the 'everyone with a Qrisk of over 10% should be taking them' thing that did it. Other than my age the only bad marker on the qrisk was just the fact that I'm on BP meds- that alone shoves the risk up substantially no matter how many/few meds you take or what the BP is. The other boxes asked for cholesterol ratio, BMI, diabetes and various other heart related problems, all of which I'm certain were quite OK. I'm suspicious of the Qrisk risk!!

  • Yes , of course. Your GP is following the new (bonkers, in my opinion) NICE Guidelines.

    You, thank goodness, are exercising your democratic right to refuse them.

  • I knew what she was going to say before she even said it !! "You are not going to like this" she said. She said her piece and I politely declined and she agreed it was not right to be so free with them.

    I don't think GP's have the time to read the stuff on the internet so she was interested to hear what I knew about statins from a different perspective. Not that I have any personal experience but there is plenty of info on this site of people who have had bad experiences.

    I asked how other patients had responded because I feel so many people, my husband included, would do exactly what the doctor said without question. She said many had declined them probably on reading the criticisms here and in the media generally. She was surprised when I said that half of the NICE quango had financial ties with big pharma.

  • Health professionals commonly use risk calculators to assess the 10 year cardiovascular risk of patients to help them identifying the need for lifestyle change and medication.* *Risk calculators should not be used for people already identified as at high risk such as those with diabetes or FH. Cardiovascular risk scores Risk calculators generate a “score” which estimates the probability of cardiovascular disease in individuals who have not already developed major atherosclerotic disease. These scores aid decision making in clinical practice and guide the type of interventions that doctors and other health care professioanls advise and prescribe. Risk Calculators have been developed based on the following: Framlingham Until recently, NICE recomended this equation for calculating cardiovascular risk. Joint British Societies (JBS) The official cardiovascular risk charts published in the British National Formulary (BNF) are based on those given in the JBS2 guidelines. JBS3 – Coming soon The third JBS guidelines are currently in development and will refer to lifetime rather than 10 year risk. ASSIGN Developed for use in Scottish populations ASSIGN includes risk factors, such as family history and social deprivation, not used by Framingham. QRISK®2 This risk algorithm has been developed by doctors and academics working in the UK and is based on routinely collected data from many thousands of GPs across the country. A version using lifetime risk is available. - See more at: heartuk.org.uk/healthcare-p...

    How accurate are the data in the calculator data base?

    JBS3 web site has problems for me to check their calculator, PC security will not allow me to connect!!!!, I went on twice give input and test the JBS3 system in London.

    We have one life, we need to look after it by our own methods.

    I took a lot of fruit drinks before a blood test for clinical trials to make sure the numbers were high enough, but the numbers are not high enough for me to go on the clinical trials!!!to

  • BP, weight, exercise and medication.

    My wife had a 24-hour monitor to check her BP, GP said all OK, no need for any medication but in the gym the machines gave high reading on hear rate. After six months of regular exercise and food intake control the heart rate on the gym machines have come down!

    Weight has not come down but a healthier person and enjoying life to the full!

  • Hi Bala, These risk calculators are all very well but it appears to me that it's your age that is the guiding force. I'm 71 and my qrisk is 13.5. Using the same data but altering my age to 67 my risk comes down to 9.6% at which point I would not be offered a statin. What sort of system is that? I find it amazing that a seemingly healthy person like myself should be offered a statin on such spurious evidence. One size does not fit all!!

    Re. your wife and her 24 hr monitor surely the surgery is the more accurate reading? Did she have to go onto BP meds?

  • 1. I do not agree in GP or practice nurse calculating risk. Yes, they can play with numbers to alter the risk and give you explanation.

    (I only went for standard repayment mortgage refused to go for endowment mortgage!, the financial adviser wrote in my notes, he is so adamant and do not want to go for endowment mortgage .)

    As an engineer I do not understand the risk calculator and did not get satisfactory answers from the practice. For me at 67, the calculator could not find a number, this is because at that time the numbers were too high!!! Agree one size does not fit all.

    2. My wife is a retired nurse and do understand BP checking, refused to go on BP medication.

    Food intake control and gym has helped to control BP. This is helping both of us.

  • I often visit the BMJ site and the main point about the NICE guidelines from their rapid responses is that GP's don't have enough understandable evidence to enable their patients to make informed choices about lifelong treatment with statins.

    I agree that there are many people who would just take the tablets (my husband for one) ! but others might want a more in depth discussion.

    Incidentally two of my friends are suffering from what I think are statin side effects. One has had a severe muscle injury which has put her on crutches for 6 weeks plus and another has extreme fatigue and memory loss. When I (tentatively) mention statins they look at me as though I'm some sort of eccentric weirdo......oh no my doctor's told me I'm high risk etc etc. It's this blinkered approach that I absolutely deplore.

  • This is a true worry; many people takingt statins do not make the connecting between their deteriorating well being and taking the drug.

  • Me too Alliwally, they take us all for idiots. I have to say my own GP doesn't even try to fob me off with what they are told to say by the NHS, probably because she knows I would query it on principle!

    I think part of the reason GPs don't have the time for an in depth discussion is the amount of form filling and paperwork they have to do these days. Given the surgery's open office full of employees whenever I go there, I smile when I remember my mother's incredibly vague elder sister who acted as her GP husband's secretary and general factotum back in the 1940'4 to the 1970's. The surgery was an extension to the house and patients came in and waited on a first come first served basis - no appointments system back then. My aunt answered the phone which was of the stick and hand held speaker variety and handed the details to my uncle who made home visits at all hours of the day - and night! Happy days!!

  • Some years ago my doctor got me started on statins, the first one I tried had a terrible effect on me It as my heart started beating so fast that I immediately went back to the doctor, who then tried me on different types, then I suffered similar problems as other users have reported. After putting up with the side effects for some time I stopped taking them, and tried another well advertised product which is so easy to take. So for the last two years I have used Flora Pro Active and nothing else, 12 months ago at the well man clinic I sailed through the Cholesterol test and just last week after another check I was told again that my Cholesterol is fine.

  • So obviously all the Flora advertising works! Does Benecol work in the same way I wonder? If it really is that easy then why do NICE tell doctors to prescribe statins?

    I see Prof Rory Collins from Oxford university is in the news again with his condemnation of the BMJ for their suggestion that the benefits of statins in healthier patients didn't outweigh the risks of side effects. I saw him on one of Michael Moseley's TV programmes and he seemed a complete zealot when it came to statins and would brook no argument against their use. He seemed to convince Michael Moseley anyway although I think he has a family history of heart trouble and diabetes. Then I also read that statins can cause diabetes, or at least push a vulnerable patient into T2 !!

    Anyway with a risk of 14.5% which next month I will have I wouldn't take them. I'd need a lot more convincing that the benefits outweigh the risks.

  • A risk that high must be scary, if you don't have FH then why the high cholesterol figure? Do you take statins?

  • Wow what a long word, guess it's no joke though!

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