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BHF: Statins reduce heart disease risk

BHF: Statins reduce heart disease risk
14th January 2016

Recent analysis has suggested that statins could be dangerous to take and could actually increase a person's risk of developing heart disease. However, the British Heart Foundation has urged people to not stop their medication and highlighted how many studies indicate that statins can reduce heart disease risk.

The research cited by the British Heart Foundation, which questions the use of statins, was conducted by a team from Japan and the US. They selected and reviewed a series of studies that looked at how cholesterol-lowering statins could impact the body.

In their conclusion, they stated that statins could trigger coronary heart disease and heart failure, despite most evidence suggesting the opposite. The British Heart Foundation argue that this information is different to looking at how people are affected by statins in clinical trials.

The charity highlighted how information like this can cause people to worry about their medication, but said that the vast majority of studies point towards statins being safe and effective to use for reducing the risk of a heart attack or stroke.

Dr Mike Knapton, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, said: "The majority of published evidence supports the current advice on taking statins and some of the best evidence about the safety and effectiveness of statins has come from the Heart Protection Study, which was research funded by the public through donations to the BHF and tax payer funding via the Medical Research Council."

He said people could be "very confident" that statins lower the bad LDL cholesterol levels in the blood, which helps a person reduce their risk of suffering from a potentially life-threatening event like a stroke or heart attack.

Mr Knapton added that statins are now an affordable solution for the NHS as many are free of patents and they save thousands of lives a year.

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