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Chronic kidney disease patients in the UK should be prescribed statins to help reduce their risk of suffering subsequent heart problems, it has been recommended.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is calling for the 2.6 million people who are currently living with chronic kidney disease in the country to be offered statins to help control some of the symptoms associated with their condition.
Chronic kidney disease can increase a person's risk of cardiovascular disease and subsequent heart attacks, with 60,000 people currently dying each year in the UK due to their condition.
There is little that can be done to prevent the onset of the illness, as it is primarily associated with ageing. During this process, kidney function can decline, which can place extra pressure on the heart, increasing the risk of a heart attack or other cardiovascular problems.
However, NICE believes that taking statins could make a significant difference to millions of people's lives, lowering their risk of high blood pressure and associated heart attacks and strokes, providing them with one less worry.
Professor Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive at NICE, commented: "A high number of people with long-term kidney problems will develop cardiovascular disease. This means they have an increased risk of suffering a fatal heart attack or stroke.
"It is important for healthcare professionals to speak to patients about their treatment options. The effectiveness of statins is now well proven, as is their long-term safety. They may appeal to a lot of people who are at risk."
NICE has recommended Atorvastatin as the preferred option for those diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, as evidence shows its effectiveness from both a clinical and cost point of view.
The healthcare body advises that statins are taken in oral pill form once a day, with approximately eight million people in Britain already taking these drugs to reduce their risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Written by James Puckle
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