A statin a day keeps the doctor away: comparative proverb assessment modelling study
Briggs ADM., Mizdrak A., Scarborough P.
Objective To model the effect on UK vascular mortality of all adults over 50 years old being prescribed either a statin or an apple a day. Design Comparative proverb assessment modelling study. Setting United Kingdom. Population Adults aged over 50 years. Intervention Either a statin a day for people not already taking a statin or an apple a day for everyone, assuming 70% compliance and no change in calorie consumption. The modelling used routinely available UK population datasets; parameters describing the relations between statins, apples, and health were derived from meta-analyses. Main outcome measure Mortality due to vascular disease. Results The estimated annual reduction in deaths from vascular disease of a statin a day, assuming 70% compliance and a reduction in vascular mortality of 12% (95% confidence interval 9% to 16%) per 1.0 mmol/L reduction in low density lipoprotein cholesterol, is 9400 (7000 to 12 500). The equivalent reduction from an apple a day, modelled using the PRIME model (assuming an apple weighs 100 g and that overall calorie consumption remains constant) is 8500 (95% credible interval 6200 to 10 800). Conclusions Both nutritional and pharmaceutical approaches to the prevention of vascular disease may have the potential to reduce UK mortality significantly. With similar reductions in mortality, a 150 year old health promotion message is able to match modern medicine and is likely to have fewer side effects.