Statin drugs don’t prevent blood clots – even though doctors think they do
For years, doctors have been prescribing cholesterol-lowering statins in the belief the drugs also prevent blood clots – but they don’t, a major new study has found.
People taking a statin are just as likely to suffer a clot, or venous thromboembolism, as someone who doesn’t take the drug, researchers from Oxford University have discovered. And the dose doesn’t matter: neither high- nor low-dose statin reduced the risk.
The Oxford study could be the last word on the subject. Doctors had been basing their prescribing on two small studies, involving around 34 people, which had suggested the drugs stopped blood clots. But this benefit disappeared when the researchers reanalysed 29 studies, involving around 100,000 patients.
(Source: PLoS Medicine, 2012; 9: e1001310).