More than 150,000 patients a year at risk of developing heart disease are not being given statins, figures suggest.
Four in five of those who took part in the NHS Health Check scheme since 2013 were found to need the cholesterol-reducing drug but were not prescribed it, according to figures released by Public Health England. The Health Check, which is believed to cost £32 million a year, was launched in 2009 to help prevent heart disease among middle-aged people not yet showing symptoms.
But even between 50 and 80 per cent of Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) diagnoses may be classed as ‘preventable’, an estimated 162,000 people a year are not receiving the right treatment.
More than 150,000 patients a year at risk of developing heart disease are not being given statins
According to guidelines set by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, a patient should be prescribed statins if they have at least a ten per cent chance of having a heart attack in the next ten years.
While around 3.9million Britons are at least 20 per cent at risk of developing CVD, less than half are given statins.
Statins, which help to reduce the level of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in the bloodstream, are commonly used to treat cases of heart disease, strokes and heart attacks.
Patients can also reduce their risk of developing heart disease by making lifestyle changes such as exercising more and giving up smoking.
Around one in seven people are currently taking statins, according to NHS Digital.
Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, chairman of the