Unmet statin treatment needs for primary prevention of cardiovascular events among the 30-74 year olds in the UK household population – implications of the new 10% 10-year cardiovascular risk threshold for treatment eligibility

Publication type

Conference Paper


Jakob Petersen

Publication date


Long-term statin therapy is at the forefront of pharmacological measures
to prevent cardiovascular disease (CVD) events and premature mortality.
The threshold for prescribing statins in general practice was lowered
from a 20% to 10% 10-year risk of a cardiovascular event in 2014 and the
present study looks at the changes in the characteristics of the
specific target groups with data collected in 2010-2012 in the general
household population. Individual 10-year cardiovascular event risk was
estimated using the office-based Framingham equations for 30-74 year
olds in Understanding Society, who took part in a health assessment and
had data on height, weight and three blood pressure measurements
(N=11374). The study also collected data on diet, exercise, smoking,
alcohol consumption, and a wide range of socio-economic factors. 11% of
30-74 year olds had ≥20% CVD risk and did not take statins for primary
prevention (11.1% 95% CI 10.5; 11.7). According to the new 10% threshold
the percentage eligible for treatment has increased to 29% (95% CI
27.8; 29.5). The characteristics of those with unmet statin needs were
at the same time changing towards younger age groups and those in work,
e.g. for men there was a nearly five-fold increase among the 45-54 year
olds (from 12% to 56.8%) and a seven-fold increase for women among the
55-64 year age group (from 4.5% to 31.1%). The paper discusses the
likely implications of the new guidelines for target patient groups and
primary care providers in improving early diagnosis and adherence to
long-term therapies.


Medicine and Health