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Statins 'can cut risk' of heart disease

By Jane Kirby

Statins cut the risk of dying from heart disease by 28% among men, according to the longest study of its kind.

The 20-year project examined data from 2,560 men taking part in a randomised clinical trial to test the effects of statins versus a placebo drug. All had very high levels of LDL 'bad' cholesterol, but had no evidence of heart disease at the start of the study.

Imperial College London and the University of Glasgow research found impressive results among those on statins, who were given the widely-prescribed pravastatin. They found that compared with the placebo, there was a 27% reduced risk of coronary heart disease, a 28% reduced risk of dying from it, and a 25% reduced risk of coronary "events" such as a heart attack.

Professor Kausik Ray, from Imperial's School of Public Health, said: "For the first time, we show that statins reduce the risk of death in this specific group of people who appear largely healthy except for very high LDL levels."

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