About the study

The Cholesterol Treatment Trialists’ Collaboration was established in 1994 to investigate the risks and benefits of statins (a class of cholesterol-lowering drug). Over the course of nearly twenty years, the Collaboration has gathered data from about 175,000 individuals taking part in large statin trials around the world.

In a series of publications the Collaboration has shown that statin therapy reduces the risk of a heart attack, stroke or the need for arterial surgery by about one fifth for each 1 mmol/L reduction in LDL cholesterol achieved. The benefits of statins have been shown in a very wide range of people at increased risk of heart disease or stroke, including people with diseases such as diabetes, or people with a combination of risk factors for heart disease.

The evidence published by the Collaboration also shows clearly that statins are remarkably safe drugs. Although they do rarely cause muscle problems or abnormal liver tests, these are generally reversible on stopping the treatment. It is clear from work published by the Collaboration that statins do not (as had been suggested) cause cancer, and nor do they have other serious effects. The Collaboration is ongoing, with plans to update the existing dataset with relevant trials as they are published, and new analyses are planned to help provide reliable information about the benefits and risks of statins and other lipid-modifying therapies.

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For further information please contact: CTT@ctsu.ox.ac.uk

CTT information