'The risks of taking cholesterol-busting statins outweigh the benefits for millions of patients, according to a study.
Researchers designed a computer model to compare the likelihood of side effects with that of dying among people taking the cheap daily pills.
Whether patients are eligible for statins, proven to save thousands of lives, depends on their risk of heart attack or stroke.
But the Swiss study found the possible harms of the drug outweigh the benefits until someone's risk is 'considerably higher' than the current threshold.
Guidelines in the UK and US both recommend prescribing a patient statins if they have a 10 per cent risk of heart disease within the next 10 years.
And, though the drugs are proven to lower this risk, statins are controversial among the medical community because of their potential side effects.
Researchers at the University of Zurich evaluated the risk of harms and benefits for men and women across various age groups.
Physicians use a tool called QRISK to estimate each patient’s individual risk of heart disease – the world’s leading killer.
The calculator jots up several risk factors to reveal a score – a 10-year risk of heart disease – including your age, BMI, where you live and other medical conditions.
If you have a risk of 10 per cent or higher you are likely eligible for statins in most healthcare systems, but experts believe this may be too low.'
Read more: Are statins overprescribed? Study warns the risks of the controversial drugs outweigh the benefits for millions of heart patients
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