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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Patients share GPs' worry over Government policies

Treatment with statins is cost-effective for many more patients than are receiving the drugs now, researchers conclude.

The influential Heart Protection Study group found using statins in patients with vascular disease or diabetes red- uced hospitalisation costs by 22 per cent.

The cost of avoiding a major vascular event was estimated to be £11,600 overall.

The study, published online by The Lancet this week,

concluded that the risk threshold for statins should be lowered.

Study co-ordinator Dr Jane Armitage, a reader in clinical epidemiology at the University of Oxford, said: 'What our data shows is that anybody at risk of heart disease ­ and that includes adults with diabetes ­ is likely to benefit from cholesterol lowering.'

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