Statin Drugs are Overprescribed

A new study suggests that the JUPITER trial, which is used by many physicians as a guideline for prescribing cholesterol-lowering statin drugs to healthy adults, missed the mark.

The JUPITER trial examined the possible benefits of statin treatment for people with normal cholesterol, and found that those with high C-reactive protein (CRP) levels benefited from taking statins. In the new study, researchers looked at data from a different group of patients, and found that using a different measure yielded more accurate results -- results which mean that many patients who were recommended to take statins should not have done so.

Live Science reports:

“According to the JUPITER trial's results, 25 patients had to be treated for five years to prevent one heart attack. Based on the new trial, however, only about half as many people would be on statin treatments. In other words, fewer people would be taking the drugs -- and heart attack prevention would happen at a higher rate”.

The JUPITER trial has been criticized before for misinterpreting findings. This may be a consequence of its sponsorship by AstraZeneca, manufacturer of the statin drug Crestor.

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