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Review of Evidence Confirms Efficacy of Statin Therapy

Larger absolute benefits for prolonged therapy; benefits outweigh rare cases of adverse events

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MONDAY, Sept. 12, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Statins are efficacious and safe for reducing the risk of vascular events, according to a review published online Sept. 8 in The Lancet.

Rory Collins, M.B.B.S., from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, and colleagues examined the evidence from randomized controlled trials relating to the efficacy and safety of statin therapy.

The researchers found that based on evidence from randomized trials, statin therapy reduced the risk of major vascular events by about one-quarter for each mmol/L reduction in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol during each year of use (after the first). The absolute benefit was dependent on the risk of occlusive vascular events and the reduction in LDL cholesterol for individual patients. The benefit of statin therapy on reducing vascular disease risk continued for each year of use, with larger absolute benefits for prolonged therapy; these benefits persisted in the long term.

"Whereas the rare cases of myopathy and any muscle-related symptoms that are attributed to statin therapy generally resolve rapidly when treatment is stopped, the heart attacks or strokes that may occur if statin therapy is stopped unnecessarily can be devastating," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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