NICE urges doctors to cut threshold for statin use in half
- The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) suggests cutting the threshold in half for starting preventive treatment for cardiovascular disease (CVD)---from a 20% risk of CVD over a 10-year period, to a 10% risk.
- Preventive therapy includes lifestyle factors and high-intensity statin therapy.
- The draft guidance has already evoked controversy.
In addition to statin therapy, NICE recommended doctors push lifestyle changes such as smoking cessation, reduced alcohol intake, more exercise and a healthy diet. In response to the escalating sense of controversy around this draft guidance, Mark Baker,director of the center for clinical practice at NICE., said, “Doctors have been giving statins to ‘well people’ since NICE first produced guidance on this in 2006. We are now recommending that the threshold is reduced further.”
Last year, the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC) released their own revised CVD guidelines and a more expansive equation for calculating patients' cardiac disease risk. The controversial decision is expected to swell the number of Americans using statins by 12.8 million. U.S. and European approaches to CVD risk calculation have, historically, varied significantly.
- Pharma Times Threshold for statin use should be halved, says NICE