Tag Archives: Statins

A shorter life or a pill every day?

Pharmacists generally believe that all older people should take statins on a regular basis to help prevent heart attacks. But when researchers asked patients how many of them would prefer a shorter life without such preventive pills the answer was not what your pharmacist might have expected!

A shorter life or a pill every day?

The participants, averaging around 50 years of age, were asked how much time they would be willing to cut short from the end of their lives by avoiding daily medicine for cardiovascular disease prevention.

While over two thirds of the respondents said they would not be willing to cut short their lives by any number of weeks as a trade-off for avoiding a daily pill, around 1 in 3 were willing to make a trade. Specifically 21% were prepared to trade up to a year from their life, and over 8% were prepared to trade as much as two years.

The measure is about how much the act of taking a pill – obtaining it, remembering to take it and actually taking it – interferes with your quality of life, say the researchers.

Your pharmacist can provide prescription collection and delivery services, and medication aids to help people remember when to take their medicines, so if you are having problems in these areas, ask for help rather than give up!

Are statins for you?

Statins can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in people who don’t have it now, but might develop it in the future. The most common forms of CVD are coronary heart disease (angina or a heart attack) and stroke (including transient ischaemic attack or TIA, sometimes called a ‘mini stroke’).

Good or bad ?

NICE, the government body which advises on the effective use of medicines, recently changed its guidance on statins to recommend that doctors should offer a statin to anyone who has a 10% or greater risk of developing CVD over the next 10 years.

If you are over 50 you could well fall into this group.
To help you decide whether a statin is the right thing for you NICE has developed a patient decision aid to give you information about the pros and cons of taking a statin.

The decision aid is designed for you to work through with your pharmacist or GP. If you are not sure what your CHD risk is, ask your pharmacist for advice.