'Around half of patients who are prescribed statins do not see their cholesterol drop to desired levels within two years, new research suggests.
Guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) aim for a 40% or more reduction in low density lipoprotein cholesterol from the treatment.
However a new study, published in journal Heart, found half of people (51%) had a “sub-optimal” response after 24 months on the drugs.
The researchers, from the University of Nottingham, analysed data from 165,411 patients who were prescribed statins in primary care between 1990 and 2016.
A total of 84,609 patients had a “sub-optimal” response after two years and did not record a reduction in cholesterol of 40% or more.
The researchers note that a higher proportion of patients with a “sub-optimal” response were prescribed lower potency doses, compared with those with an “optimal” response.
Patients who did not reach the targeted levels were 22% more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than those who did respond well, the study found.
The researchers said the study provides “real world evidence” about statins.
“These findings contribute to the debate on the effectiveness of statin therapy and highlight the need for personalised medicine in lipid management for patients,” they wrote.'
Read more: Statins lack desired effect for half of patients, study finds
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