What is the efficacy of statins for primary CV prevention?

John, a well 52-year-old business executive, recently remarked that “a lot of my mates are on medication for cholesterol”, and asked whether he should take a statin too.

At first glance, the answer appeared to be “no” – his five-year absolute cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk was only 3% using the Australian calculator. 1 However, what is the evidence?

What does the research evidence say?

Step 1: The Cochrane Library

There is a relevant Cochrane Library systematic review that was updated and published in January 2013.2 However, this wasn’t specific for people at low risk.

Step 2: Trip Database

Using the PICO search tool: