HEART UK responds to debate on the true benefits and risks of statins

In response to the article published by Prescriber, which discussed the benefits and risks of statins, HEART UK Trustee and Head of Clinical Biochemistry Department at University of Newcastle School of Clinical and Laboratory Sciences, Dr Dermot Neely commented:

“The article published by Prescriber in response to the recent publication in the Lancet offers a comprehensive overview of statins clinical trials and adds confusion to a debate between the authors and cholesterol sceptics, which seems unlikely to go away. This debate is of no benefit to patients.

“Familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) patients are living proof that low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is a causative risk factor for cardiovascular disease and since the first major randomised controlled trial of simvastatin showed reduction in both cardiovascular events and overall mortality, LDL-cholesterol reduction has become an established part of cardiovascular prevention strategies.

“Unfortunately, many patients discontinue statins due to concerns about minor muscle symptoms, which has been shown to increase their risk of recurrent events. Although these symptoms may be statin related in some cases, serious muscle damage is a very rare event.

“Patients should work with their doctors to find a statin regime which suits them and achieves good control of their LDL-cholesterol, which can be achieved in the vast majority of cases.”


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