Statins for everybody over 40?

Cardiologists have discovered another positive side to statins that may make them an appealing proposition for some people.

A team from Queen Mary University of London report that in addition to the drug's cholesterol-lowering effects, statins are also associated with improved heart structure and function.

Their study of more than 4600 older adults without cardiovascular disease found that those prescribed statins for hyperlipidaemia were less likely to have left ventricular hypertrophy and less likely to have a large heart chamber than the healthier control group.

This puts statin users at a reduced risk of future adverse outcomes such as MI, heart failure or stroke.

The findings raise the issue of extending statin prescriptions to anyone above the age of 40.

"There is debate about whether we should lower the bar and the question is when do you stop,” says lead author Dr Nay

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