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Ethnicity data 'improves on Framingham'

Statins are highly cost-effective for treating hypertension and should be more widely used, researchers conclude.

An analysis of the landmark ASCOT trial found it would cost just £7,000 to prevent a major cardiovascular event ­ well within cost-effectiveness thresholds. Arguments against wider statin use are mainly economic, with fears too many people would need to be treated for each event prevented.

But ASCOT researcher Professor Peter Sever, professor of clinical pharmacology at Imperial College, London, said from a third to a half of hypertensives should be on statins ­ over twice current levels. 'The idea that we would wait until people had an event is nonsensical,' he said.

The new study analysed the cost-effectiveness of 10mg at-orvastatin and was published in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation (February).

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