Lipid lowering: working with patients to take their tablets
The benefits of lipid modification therapy in reducing cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk have been well recognised since the advent of effective treatments, including the HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins). Use of statins is likely to have been a contributory factor in the fall of over 75% in CVD mortality in many industrialised countries over the last 40 years. Other interventions, including improved management of other cardiovascular risk factors, notably hypertension and smoking, have also been important. However, CVD continues to be responsible for one in four premature deaths in the UK, with rates in the most deprived 10% of the population being almost twice as high as in least deprived cohorts.