Published on May 17th, 2012 | by Kim LaCapria0
Statins Examined For Healthy Adults, Recommended in New Meta-Analysis
A new meta-analysis of existing data has suggested that even healthy adults over the age of 50 should perhaps be regularly taking the medications known as statins, or cholesterol-reducing drugs, given their clear risk to benefit ratio.
Researchers say statins could save “a lot of lives” if used in “apparently healthy people with no previous history of heart disease,” where the drugs cut risk of heart attack or stroke by a fifth. Researchers from the University of Oxford in England looked at the impact of statins in populations suffering from heart disease as well as those with no apparent health problems, and discovered that the benefits of statin therapy in those over 50 outweighs any known risks associated with the medications.
Data from about 175,000 participants across 27 studies was culled for the meta-analysis led by Professor Colin Baigent of Oxford. Baigent commented:
“This benefit [of reduced death risk] greatly exceeds any known hazards of statin therapy… Under present guidelines, such individuals would not typically be regarded as suitable for LDL-lowering statin therapy. The present report suggests, therefore, that these guidelines might need to be reconsidered.”
The meta-analysis of statins was published Wednesday in medical journal The Lancet.