STATIN LIFE EXPECTANCY

How long will a statin increase your life if you take it every day for five years?

Think about what your answer would be and you can find out below how long your increase in life will be.

Researchers (ML Kristensen, PM Christensen andJ Hallas) conducted a review and reanalysed the published trial data for statins.

They were seeking to establish the “average postponement of death” when a person was prescribed HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors – or “statins”.

Statins are the most widely prescribed cholesterol-lowering drugs in the world.

And they are important in the prevention of atherosclerotic conditions such as stroke, myocardial infarction or limb ischaemia.

In 2012 Professor Sir Rory Collins proposed that all people over 50 should be prescribed statins, even if they don’t have high cholesterol.

Clinical trials had shown that statins should be limited to people with advanced heart disease.

The marketing of statins says it lowers cholesterol.

But do statins increase life expectancy if it is taken every day for 5 years?

The researchers, who conducted the review mentioned above, found that it increased life expectancy by three to five days.

One writer has  said that doctors and patients are being misled about the true benefits and harms of statins, and that the raw data from the clinical trials that are currently being kept secret should be released.

To learn more about life expectancy when prescribed statins,

Kristensen ML, Christensen PM, Hallas J. The effect of statins on average survival in randomised trials, an analysis of end point postponement BMJ Open 2015;5:e007118. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2014-007118