New heart attack 'risk calculators' could help prescribe statins to patients most in need

Around 600 volunteers underwent the tests – with 42 percent being advised to go on statins a quarter ended up receiving them, compared to 10 percent of 3,200 controls.

The statin group had higher levels of blood fats, less good cholesterol – but reduced rates of heart attacks, strokes and other major adverse cardiac events over three years of follow up.

Dr Anderson added: “This kind of active approach leads to more patients being checked more frequently for risk factors for coronary heart disease, and they were treated with statins more often, with the objective to lower their risk of a cardiovascular event such as a heart attack or stroke.