Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

BACKGROUND: The 2014 guidelines on cardiovascular risk assessment and lipid modification from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommend statin therapy for adults with prevalent cardiovascular disease (CVD), and for adults with a 10-year CVD risk of ≥10%, estimated using the QRISK2 algorithm. AIM: To determine risk factor levels required to exceed the risk threshold for statin therapy, and to estimate the number of adults in England who would require statin therapy under the guidelines. DESIGN AND SETTING: Cross-sectional study using a sample representative of the English population aged 30-84 years. METHOD: To estimate 10-year CVD risk different combinations of risk factor levels were entered into the QRISK2 algorithm. The NICE guidelines were applied to the sample using data from the Health Survey for England 2011. RESULTS: Even with optimal risk factor levels, males of different ethnicities would exceed the 10% risk threshold between the ages of 60 and 70 years, and females would exceed the threshold between 65 and 75 years. Under the NICE guidelines, 11.8 million males and females (37% of the adults aged 30-84 years) would require statin therapy, most of them (9.8 million) for primary prevention. When analysed by age, 95% of males and 66% of females without CVD in ages 60-74 years, including all males and females in ages 75-84 years, would require statin therapy. CONCLUSION: Under the 2014 NICE guidelines, 11.8 million (37%) adults in England aged 30-84 years, including almost all males >60 years in all females >75 years, require statin therapy.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Gen Pract

Publication Date





e598 - e608


HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, cardiovascular disease, general practice, prevention, risk, statins, Adult, Age Factors, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Algorithms, Cardiovascular Diseases, Cross-Sectional Studies, England, Female, Guideline Adherence, Humans, Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors, Male, Middle Aged, Practice Guidelines as Topic, Primary Prevention, Risk Assessment, Risk Factors