As a specialist healthcare communications agency PRimage was encouraged to learn that the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) has issued guidance to doctors to help them identify people at risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) who might benefit from statins.
This is great news because CVD is a leading cause of ill-health and death in the UK, accounting for 124,000 deaths in 2005. People aged 40 to 75 are likely to be high risk, as are those who smoke, have high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Judy Viitanen has read that around four million people in England and Wales are taking statins but the recent guidance could see an extra 1.5 million benefit from cholesterol-lowering drugs - saving thousands of lives every year. Statins lower cholesterol, cutting the chance of people suffering CVD, which includes heart attacks and strokes. And PRimage understand that it is hoped the new guidance will address the patchy prescribing of statins in primary care.
There’s more evidence of the beneits of statins today, with German researchers claiming that people given cholesterol-fighting statin drugs before heart surgery are far less likely to die or suffer complications afterwards.