Half of patients on statins fail to reach healthy cholesterol levels after two years, study reveals

Half of patients on statins fail to reach healthy cholesterol levels after two years, study reveals

STATINS do not work for more than half of patients, a study reveals. Around seven million Brits are given then 4p-a-day pills to reduce cholesterol

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STATINS do not work for more than half of patients, a study reveals.

Around seven million Brits are given then 4p-a-day pills to reduce cholesterol levels — lowering the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Seven million Brits are given statins to reduce cholesterol, but research has shown they do not work on more than half of patients
Getty – Contributor

Seven million Brits are given statins to reduce cholesterol but research has shown they do not work on more than half of patients[/caption]

But after analysing data on more than 165,000 users, researchers found 51 per cent failed to see a significant drop in their ­cholesterol.

Experts from Nottingham University warn these patients face a quarter higher risk of a heart-related death.

The major study, published in the journal Heart, says it is unclear why so many people are not benefiting.

Reasons may include GPs prescribing too low a dose, genetics and patients not taking their ­medication. One in five complain statins cause muscle pain — leading many to ditch them.

Statins slow down the production of cholesterol by the liver. High levels contribute to stiffening and narrowing of arteries.


NHS guidance says treatment must reduce LDL or “bad” cholesterol by at least 40 per cent to be considered effective.

Researcher Dr Stephen Weng said: “It’s not about statins not working, it’s more how we prescribe them not working.”

Prof Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “There is a substantial body of research showing statins are safe, effective drugs for most people when prescribed appropriately.”

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