A controversial study on statins saw roughly 200,000 patients stop taking the cholesterol-lowering drugs in a six-month period and has been linked to an increase in heart attacks and strokes over the next 10 years.
It’s thought that roughly 10 per cent of those taking the prescribed medication have side effects such as nausea and joint pain, while one in 100 can suffer more serious issues.
However, an article published in the British Medical Journal in 2013 suggested healthy people at low risk of heart disease were at greater risk of serious side effects than health benefits from taking the medication.
When the meds found their way back into the headlines in 2014 when one health body called for more people to take the pills to prevent future heart disease, a team of researchers looked at the data over the six months following the public debate.
There was a 12 per cent increase that those in the ‘high risk’ category would stop taking their cholesterol-lowering medication without discussing it with a medical practitioner.
It is estimated 219,000 people stopped taking the drug and more than 2,000 heart attacks and strokes could occur.