What is going on - risk of CVD

I've been on statins for a number of years and been on BP pills. My BP before treatment was 175/95 and my cholesterol was 8.3 (HDL of 1.3) before treatment. BP now reduced to 155/90. I've been having a few problems with the statins and i'm 40 so GP sent me to lipid clinic to check if I had FH. No lumps / bumps etc on tendons so specialist couldn't diagnose FH (he pointed me to this site) and only one incident of early heart attack in quite a big family (rest of my parents aunts and uncles into their 60's now and no CVD - only one uncle died at 42 with CVD).

So - spoke to GP to ask opinion of whether or not taking statins would be a problem. She did a QRISK2 analysis and as I don't smoke, not diabetic etc, put in value of Systolic of 175 and Total Cholesterol / HLD ratio of 6.5, I got a risk of CVD in next 10 years of 3.9% (person with 'normal' cholesterol and BP gets 2%). So is all this effort based on 1.9% extra risk?

I then ran the same QRISK2 analysis with the same numbers if I was 50 and 60 and only by 60 did my QRISK2 numbers approach 20% (NICE recommendation for statin therapy!).

I'm now very confused about the actual risks in question. From a medical standpoint, doubling my risk of CVD in the next year is impressive, but from 2% to 4%?

2 Replies

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  • Hi Arcitect,

    Thank you for introducing me to QRISK2, I have had tremendous fun playing around with it in an idle moment at work!

    I entered my pre statin and post statin cholesterol levels and it tells me that my risk is now the same as other white women of 57( in fact, very slightly lower).

    On a serious note this difference between absolute and relative risk is an important one and one highlighted by my (anti) hero Dr Malcolm Kendrick in "The Great Cholesterol Con" page 128. The difference between 2% and 4% could scream at you statins save lives by 50%, in which case we should all be taking them or it could say, your risk is only 4% anyway so I wouldn't bother taking them if you are getting side effects etc etc.

    I have come down on the side of statins due to my age, family history of heart disease and type 2 diabetes but it has been a long and stressful journey.

  • PS There is also one called QD which rates your risk of Type 2 Diabetes in the next 10 years.

    Mind boggling with what else can be risk rated.. risk of having different husband in 10 years time, risk of adult children still living with you in 10 years time perhaps.

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