The reduction, particularly in male cardiac-related deaths, associated with taking statins is between 25 and 40%.
An article in the Lancet 03 Sept 2016 highlighted the dangers of misrepresentation in the lay press of scientific articles regarding these drugs. In particular two recent publications suggested that 20% of patients taking statins had side effects. What the scientific journals actually reported was that 20% of individuals stopped taking a statin because of suspected side effects whereas the true incidence is 1 – 2%. This indicates that in most cases stopping medication was not related to a direct effect of the statins.
A further recent newspaper article suggesting that a Mediterranean diet was just as good as statins referred to a small epidemiological Italian study whose conclusions were blown out of proportion.
We assess our patients individually in terms of their risks of heart disease and potential to benefit from statins but in order to do this we require measurements of blood pressure and the cholesterol profile. We therefore encourage all our patients to be aware of their blood pressure and cholesterol and future risk of heart disease and where appropriate to take statins.