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Harm caused by statins 'outweighs benefits'

Millions more people should be put on cholesterol-lowering statin drugs to protect them against heart attacks and strokes, according to draft guidelines for the NHS in England.

Professor Mark Baker, director of clinical practice at the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), told the Today programme's Mishal Husain that the use of statin drugs is "cheap, safe and effective".

Cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra stated that, for low-risk groups, the overall harm caused by taking statins would actually "outweigh the benefits" and said that we should instead be "concentrating on lifestyle" to protect against heart attacks and strokes.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Wednesday 12 February.

  • 12 Feb 2014
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