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Table 1 Main point summary

From: Communicating statin evidence to support shared decision-making

Clinical decision-making should be guided by patient values as well as best available evidence
Virtually all medical interventions have potential harms as well as potential benefits
Benefits and harms vary in terms of frequency, magnitude, impact, and importance to patients
Recently released guidelines endorse the use of statins to prevent cardiovascular (CV) events when the estimated 10 year CV event risk is as low as 7.5 %, a major change from previous guidelines, which endorsed preventive treatment when 10-year risk was 20 % or higher
Best evidence suggests that taking a statin pill every day for 10 years would reduce a 7.5 % risk by about 1.9 to 5.6 %. Similarly, a 20 % 10-year event risk could be reduced to 15 %.
Potential harms of statins are very low, but include myopathy, diabetes, and hepatotoxicity
Whether benefit harm trade-offs make a statin worthwhile is an individual patient decision
Practicing clinicians and health care delivery systems should strive to communicate best available evidence so that patients are able to make informed decisions about their health