(HealthDay News) — Guidelines that recommend statins for more people for primary prevention of atherosclerosis are likely to prevent more atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) events than guidelines that recommend fewer people take statins, according to a study published online in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Martin Bødtker Mortensen, MD, PhD, from Aarhus University Hospital, and Børge Grønne Nordestgaard, MD, from Herlev and Gentofte Hospital, both in Denmark, compared the utility of recently published guidelines issued by five major organizations for statin use to prevent ASCVD. The effectiveness of the different guidelines was estimated in an observational study of actual ASCVD events during 10 years in a population of 45,750 Danish adults aged 40 to 75 years who did not use statins and did not have ASCVD at baseline.

The researchers found that the percentage of participants eligible for statins was 44, 42, 40, 31, and 15%, respectively, for the Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS) guideline, the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) guideline, the United Kingdom’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guideline, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) guideline, and the European Society of Cardiology/European Atherosclerosis Society (ESC/EAS) guideline. Statin use for 10 years could have prevented an estimated 34, 34, 32, 27, and 13% of ASCVD events with the CCS, ACC/AHA, NICE, USPSTF, and ESC/EAS guidelines, respectively.

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“Guidelines recommending that more persons use statins for primary prevention of ASCVD should prevent more events than guidelines recommending use by fewer persons,” the authors write.

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Bødtker Mortensen M, Grønne Nordestgaard M. Comparison of Five Major Guidelines for Statin Use in Primary Prevention in a Contemporary General Population. Ann Intern Med. DOI: 10.7326/M17-0681

Mancini GBJ. Comparison Shopping: Guidelines for Statins for Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease.Ann Intern Med. DOI: 10.7326/M17-2917