The noise around statins distracts from its real problems

“For those who haven’t had a heart attack or stroke, starting a long-term statin brings no mortality benefit. Prescribing drugs without explaining the absolute risk reduction is both unscientific and unethical. If increasing numbers of people without heart disease take statins, it will be a victory for vested interests over evidence. … Most of the data on statins is presented using a reduction in relative risks, which inflates the benefit. For example, the Heart Protection Study claimed a 40% reduction in mortality from cardiovascular disease, but the reduction in overall mortality was 0.3% per year. Instead of converting millions of people into statin users, we should all be focusing on the real factors that reduce the risk of heart disease: healthy diets, exercise and avoiding smoking.”