Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Statins prescribed 'needlessly'
'Up to 3 million people are taking statins needlessly, doctors warn today in a comprehensive study that suggests they are ineffective in many cases and could be doing more harm than good.'
'An authoritative review shows there is little evidence that the cholestrol-lowering drugs protect people who are not already at a high risk of heart disease.'
'As a result, the NHS is wasting large sums of money on giving the drug to the "worried well", the researchers warn. In some cases, the side effects of taking statins could outweigh the benefits, they say.'
'A number of studies have linked statins to liver problems, acute kidney failure and muscle damage.'
'Statins are thought to be taken by one in three people over the age of 40. Up to seven million people in England take them, costing the NHS at least £450 million a year. A large proportion of these are at low risk of heart problems and take the drugs to ward of future disease.'
'Experts who advocate the use of statins say they have helped prolong thousands of lives by preventing heart attacks and other cardiovascular events.'
This is taken from today's "Daily Telegraph" and the report was also mentioned on the BBC Breakfast News this morning.