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Intensive statin treatment 'would cut heart attacks and strokes'

9th November 2010

The number of heart attacks and strokes could be significantly reduced if cholesterol-lowering drugs were prescribed in higher doses, new research has claimed.

A study carried out by the Clinical Trial Service Unit (CTSU) at the University of Oxford and a team at the University of Sydney examined data from around 170,000 people who took part in 26 randomised trials to assess the effects of statins.

The research, which is published in the Lancet medical journal, found that patients who received a more intensive treatment using statins experienced 15 per cent fewer major vascular events when compared to those on standard doses.

CTSU's Professor Colin Baigent, the leader of the project, commented: 'Using aggressive statin treatment to lower levels of bad cholesterol further than would be achieved using standard doses produces even greater reductions in the incidence of heart attacks or strokes.'

He added that this could be even more beneficial to people who have already suffered a heart attack or stroke and are at increased risk of the problem reoccurring.

According to figures from the NHS, around 111,000 people have a heart attack each year in England, while a similar number suffer strokes.
 

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