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angle-left Heart attacks could be reduced by rethinking the way we prescribe statins

A new study led by the RI-MUHC, with collaborators from the United-States, is changing the way we think about prescribing statins

Mar 11, 2016

Millions of people today take statins to help lower their cholesterol level. Currently statins are prescribed to patients based on their future risk of cardiovascular disease – mainly driven by age – which excludes many individuals who may benefit from them. A new study led by the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) in Montreal, with collaborators from the United-States, is changing the way we think about prescribing statins. The research team has developed a new approach to determine which individuals should receive these important medications. The findings, which are published online in Circulation, the journal of the American Heart Association, could improve prevention of heart disease, especially in younger people.

"Our study is changing the way we think about prescribing statins; we should not only be considering who is at risk of heart disease but, more importantly, who would benefit from these medications," says study-lead author, Dr. George Thanassoulis, who is the director of Preventive and Genomic Cardiology at the MUHC and an associate professor in Medicine at McGill University. "For example, younger patients who have high cholesterol, are frequently considered too young to be at risk for heart attack in the short term, but our analysis shows that they would benefit from treatment, even in the short term, and therefore should be eligible for statin treatment." Read more