Perhaps Millions Of People Are Receiving Statins Unnecessarily

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Perhaps Millions Of People Are Receiving Statins Unnecessarily
Perhaps Millions Of People Are Receiving Statins Unnecessarily

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Perhaps millions of people are receiving statins unnecessarily

The benefit of prescribing statins for people without serious cardiovascular disease is questionable. Prescribing them for prevention does not always justify the possible side effects. Scientists claim this in an article published in The BMJ.

Perhaps millions of people are receiving statins unnecessarily
Perhaps millions of people are receiving statins unnecessarily

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The benefit of prescribing statins for people without serious cardiovascular disease is questionable. Prescribing them for prevention does not always justify the possible side effects. Scientists claim this in an article published in The BMJ.

The researchers analyzed several articles on the use of statins in the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease. We are talking about the use of drugs by people who have cardiovascular risk factors, but no disease. The authors argue that they did not find sufficient evidence of the benefits of such treatment. They write that prescribing statins to such patients "may be an example of low value aid" that wastes health care resources unnecessarily.

The benefits of prescribing statins to people with cardiovascular disease are almost beyond question. But their use for primary prevention, as envisaged today in many countries, has long been the subject of debate.

The authors investigated the effect of changing treatment guidelines for cardiovascular disease in Ireland from 1987 to 29016. They found that the proportion of people over the age of 50 who should receive statins, according to current guidelines, increased from 8% in 1987 to 61% in 2016.

This means that treatment is now more likely to be prescribed to people who are at low risk of developing diseases. The number of people who need to be "treated" to prevent one heart attack or stroke has also grown during this time: from 40 in 1987 to 400 in 2016.

Scientists investigated the benefits of statins for primary prevention based on information about people who received these drugs for 1-5 years, with an average age of 62-69 years. After analyzing the data, the authors found that the rates of reduction in mortality were not statistically significant, which "raises questions about the uncertainty of the benefits of statins in primary prevention."

In patients at low to moderate cardiovascular risk, primary prophylaxis with statins lowers the risk of heart attack or stroke, according to a new analysis. This effect, according to scientists, hardly justifies the use of statins.

The authors believe that there is a need to better understand the evidence behind the prescription of statins for prophylaxis and to take responsibility for their use.

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