Are doctors overprescribing statins?

Study shows risks outweigh benefits for many taking the drugs for primary prevention

 A new study suggests that too many people may be taking statins for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease.

The research says the potential risks of statin therapy outweigh the benefits for adults whose 10-year risk of developing CVD is 7.5-10%.

Most current guidelines recommend statin therapy if the expected 10-year risk of CVD is 7.5% or higher.

However, recent US guidelines also emphasise the importance of patient preference and suggest using coronary-artery calcium scores and clinical risk factors to guide statin therapy for primary prevention.

The modelling study assessed the balance of benefits and harms of statin therapy for primary CVD prevention, and determined age- and sex-specific 10-year risk thresholds at which the net benefits of statin treatment outweighed the net harms.

The research team from the University of Zurich, Switzerland,