Statins, cholesterol-lowering drugs, could benefit people who are completely healthy, according to a new study published on Thursday.
The study, published in The Lancet, suggests that everyone over 50 could benefit from taking the drugs, even if they have no history of heart disease. Many doctors already take the pills, which have been proven to reduce cholesterol in the blood.
According to the study’s findings:
“Reduction of LDL cholesterol with a statin reduced the risk of major vascular events…largely irrespective of age, sex, baseline LDL cholesterol or previous vascular disease, and of vascular and all-cause mortality.”
MSN Health reports that for the study, the researchers examined 27 trials, which were randomized, involving 175,000 people. They investigated the results of lowering LDL cholesterol using statins.
In order to gather results, they grouped the patients into categories based on risk categories, and explored if the cholesterol-lowering drugs were used in treatment and, if so, how intense the drugs were.
Statins were found to reduce a patient’s risk of serious vascular events by more than 21 percent, for each unit reduction in levels of bad cholesterol.
Professor Colin Baigent, of Oxford University, led the study. They wrote in the publication that:
“This benefit 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.”
They also stated that about 50 percent of vascular events occur in people who have no history of heart problems. They went on to caution that:
“Statins may produce small increased risks of hemorrhagic strokes and in diagnoses of diabetes, but the definite benefits of statins greatly outweigh these potential hazards.”
The U.S. FDA recently required a label change to statins, warning of rare thinking and memory problems resulting from their use.
Check out more information about statins here: