More adults should be taking statins, says NICE

Were you offered statins at your NHS Health Check? The decision whether to start taking statins should be made after an informed discussion between you and your doctor about the risks and benefits of treatment.

New guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommend lowering the bar for statin use in adults at risk of heart disease.

NICE suggests up to 8,000 lives could be saved every three years if everyone with a 10% risk of developing cardiovascular disease within the next 10 years is offered one of the widely used cholesterol-lowering medications.

Find out more from the NHS Choices News desk:

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15 Replies

  • When I was first diagnosed with T2 diabetes I went on a statin and after pain and 'confused' mental state I was put on another with the same results. I refused to take them for several years but after much pressure I have finally succumbed and now take Crestor, which is not having those awful side effect on me.

    I still wonder if these medications are all they are cracked up to be, or are we just hitting targets for the GP's?

  • Hi Beek - I totally agree with you on this subject. Why don't doctors listen to their patient. Surely people know their own body better than anyone

  • Update on the statins:

    After a few months on Crestor, and after a misshap falling on the stairs, I started having intense pain during the night in my shoulder, wrist and elbow joints. It was so bad that it used to wake me when I moved in my sleep. I was feeling utterly exhausted with the broken sleep and I told DN when I stopped taking statins.

    All those pains have now pretty well gone. My cholestrol had risen slightly so I have just started taking plant sterols to see if that is helpful.

    I have serious concerns about this 'mass medicating' of the population.

  • I'm on Pravastatin and Ezetimibe. My cholesterol 2 months ago was 4.3. So I questioned why I need a statin. My GP told me about this '20%' list. Apparently 20% of women my age - 56 - MAY suffer a heart attack or stroke within the next 10 years. Great!! But she also told me that even if someone of my age was the correct weight with a low cholesterol would also be offered a statin because of this 20%. XX

  • No not had this

  • I think all GP's should ask whether there is a family history of muscle disorder before prescribing statins, this certainly didn't happen with me.

    My mum died of motor neurone disease when she was 80 and I only discovered the (admittedly very unproven) link doing my own research.

    I developed muscle cramps and twitchings on all statins and for me, although I have very high cholesterol (probably genetic) the risks of taking statins for me outweigh the benefits.

    I take a bile sequestrant which is not so effective but is the right decision for me.

  • I don't want any uneccesary medication - no matter how 'harmless' thank you. I prefer a daily walk to a daily drug.

  • I agree, same with me, no medication so far, food intake control and regular exercise in the gym!

    Only time will tell

  • I find it worrying that doctors are given financial incentives to medicate the population and that they have targets to hit in diagnosing people. e'g' T2D

  • Just happened upon this today - although it is from 'WDDTY' and I do not know their reliability record..

    "A research unit that influenced wider statin use in the UK was all the time being funded by drug companies, including £217m from Merck, one of the largest producers of the cholesterol-lowering drug.

    The Cholesterol Treatment Trialists Collaboration (CTT), based at Oxford University and headed by Sir Rory Collins, has been very influential in shifting UK health policy, which this year started to recommend statin use for all over-60s.

    The new guidelines, issued by NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence), followed the publication of ‘independent’ studies from CTT that maintained that statins had few side effects but many major benefits. Sir Rory was also highly critical of studies published in the British Medical Journal that claimed the drugs caused side effects in 22 per cent of users. "

  • No I was not

  • If this is the case " NICE suggests up to 8,000 lives could be saved every three years if everyone with a 10% risk of developing cardiovascular disease within the next 10 years is offered one of the widely used cholesterol-lowering medications." then we need to train our GP to offer explanation on blood test results, food intake and food intake control along with the advantage of taking medication and any side effect on medication. not just take statin!, I am afraid.

    At the end of the day each individual can decide if medication is required not a GPs view taken from some computer calculation! NHS food plate also needs improvement! Heart UK food plate as well.

    If an individual gets medication and not take the full course the it can be considered as waste of NHS money.

  • Which food plate? The wellbeing plate or the portion control plate? They are not the same. When I asked at a diet meeting run by the NHS they told me why the "diet" plate ie portion control is different to the well being plate. If you are using the portion control plate you are not following the well being plate. Sadly they treat all people as masses and not individuals with different needs. After 2 attendances of their programme, Im not going back. Its based at kindergarden level not "A" level knowledge. Every food they put down to "teach" us about what category food belongs in I did not eat. Giving out advice of have 3 rich tea biscuits if you are eating biscuits is not advice I would have given. Empty wasted calories such as shame. A quarter of your plate is carbohydrates, 2 egg sized potatoes, no mention of mash, or baked size, no mention of rice/whole grain portions every picture on their chart was of white food, white rice, white spaghetti, white potatoes. The Sugar and fats topic everything was junk food. KitKats, Sweeten fruit yogurts, mars bars Are they trying to endorse it? Nothing about how much fat in good foods nothing about sugar in fruit or alcohol. If you are going to teach people give them all the facts not just the facts you think they need to hear. There is a whole lot of waste going on in the NHS. Id sack all of advice teams because they are not teaching anything. That will save a whole bunch of money.

  • Just reading what Parvati quotes makes my blood pressure rise! I was offered a statin as I am 72 and on BP meds with a BP average of <123/75>.

    Sir Rory Statin [sorry Collins] needs taking out and shooting. If he disclosed his data I'd have some respect for him but he won't so I don't. He is utterly dismissive of side effects and will not tolerate any criticism. It's all about the money.

  • big fear needle -no blood yes

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