This study showed that Europe's unhealthiest living men's mortality can be improved with just one pill

The men living in the West of Scotland belong to the populations in Europe with the most disastrous life-expectancy, mainly due to their inclination to fried foods, smoking and alcohol (so that's excluding knifings, heroin and suicide). A lot of these guys snuff it in their early to mid sixties after a massive heart-attack or a stroke, and were the perfect population to test medicine's new weapons, the Statins, and so the WOSCOPS study was designed: a randomised, double blind, placebo controlled study taking place in the early nineties, run by the University of Glasgow.

6595 men with elevated LDL Cholesterol between 45 and 64 who hadn't suffered a heart attack were randomized, and half were given 40mg of Pravastatin each night. The average follow-up was 4.9 years, and the results validated the results of the SSSS for a male population without an existing heart probem, proving that primary prevention of heartdisease would be cost efficient and save lives:

Average LDL Cholesterol was reduced by 26%, Cholesterol by 20%, a 31% percent reduction of coronary events and a similar reduction of mortality related to cardiac problems. There was no increase in non-cardiac mortality.

With other words, taking one of these little pills at night reduced these patients chance of dying from a heartattack or contracting Angina by one third, resulting in an impressive reduction of costs for the NHS in hospital care and follow up.

Of course, one could always at least try and change one's diet..

Prevention of coronary heart disease with pravastatin in men with hypercholesterolemia. West of Scotland Coronary Prevention Study Group, Shepherd J, Cobbe SM, Ford I, Isles CG, Lorimer AR, MacFarlane PW, McKillop JH, Packard CJ ,N Engl J Med. 1995 Nov 16;333(20):1301-7.

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