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Cardiovascular disease is responsible for one in three deaths globally.1 It is estimated that by the end of 2010, it will be the leading cause of death in developing countries.2 NICE guidelines state that those already established with coronary heart disease (CHD), cerebrovascular disease and those with established risk factors such as diabetes mellitus should be considered for treatment with a statin.
But what, if any, is the role of statin therapy for patients at low cardiovascular risk? Would any benefit be clinically efficacious, safe and cost-effective? The key question is: should GPs be prescribing statins for ‘healthy’ patients at low cardiovascular risk?
This controversial topic was in part answered by the recent published JUPITER (Justification for the Use of Statins in Primary Prevention: an Interventional Trial Evaluating Rosuvastatin) study.3
JUPITER was a large placebo-controlled RCT that included 17 802 ‘healthy’ individuals from 26 countries. The study recruited healthy people with normal LDL levels (<3.4 mmol/l) but with elevated levels …
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