In these pages we shall inevitably cover ‘burning’ health issues of the day. One such is the taking of statins to help to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease and stroke and seems to flare-up occasionally in the press to rekindle a raging topic for debate. According recent reports in the Daily Telegraph and other newspapers, everyone over the age of 50 should be given statins because the “cholesterol-busting” drugs reduce the risk of a heart attack even in healthy people. This latest conclusion is based on studies by researchers from Oxford University and the University of Sydney, funded by several institutions including the Brotish Heart Foundation,the UK medical research Council, and cancer Research UK.
The use of the ‘bad cholesterol-busting (known as LDL cholesterol)’ properties of statin drugs is suggested by the research findings for the medication of all people over the age of 50 whether considered at risk from vascular problems or not. Currently,guidelines for prescribing statins are based on a number of risk factors including age, cholesterol levels,blood pressure, and lifestyle issues like smoking.The benefits of taking statins are seen as outweighing ‘any known hazards of taking statins.’ For a full and rounded report you can read the article published by the UK NHS website.The debate does seem set to continue to rage. One or two people have commented at the website on concerns that statins may impair cognitive ability in those with dementia.
The NHS site says,”There is good existing evidence that a healthy lifestyle (including regular exercise, stopping smoking and a healthy diet) is an important factor in cardiovascular health.” We are told that the guidelines on statin drugs will be considered again soon.All the available information needs to be carefully considered.