17 million can now get statins on NHS
Two in every five adults in England could be offered statins to prevent heart attacks and strokes after health officials lowered the threshold for eligible people.
Millions more will qualify for the cholesterol-reducing drugs on the NHS following updated guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice).
Experts said that potentially 17 million people could now be offered the drugs to prevent illness.
The drugs are currently offered to people in the UK who have a 20% risk of developing cardiovascular disease within 10 years.
New updated guidance from Nice has called for the NHS to widen this to cover people with just a 10% risk.
This lower threshold could see an additional 4.5 million offered the drugs, bringing the total of all eligible people to 17 million.
If everyone eligible took the drugs between 20,000 and 50,000 deaths could be prevented every year, a spokesman said.