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Thus, to prevent 23 coronary deaths (1.1%) it had been necessary to treat 2081 individuals for five years, which means that 90 patients were treated for each life saved.
In the WOSCOPS trial, which included only healthy individuals with a high cholesterol, the result was even less impressive.
If the cholesterol level for these people is no risk factor for coronary disease, how could a lowering of cholesterol improve their chances to avoid a coronary? Normally, the function of such grafts gradually deteriorates because the coronary vessels are narrowed by an increased growth of smooth muscle cells in the vascular walls, a condition called graft vessel disease. Meiser’s experiment, however, rats that were given simvastatin had considerably less graft vessel disease than control rats not given simvastatin, and this was not due to cholesterol lowering because simvastatin does not lower cholesterol in rats.If you eat simvastatin this chance increases to 95%.In the CARE trial 5.7%, or 119 individuals died from a heart attack in the control group and 4.6%, or 96 individuals in the treatment group.Here, 61 died in the placebo group, 41 in the treatment group, a risk reduction of 0.6%.To save these 20 lives it had been necessary to treat 3302 healthy individuals for five years, or 165 individuals for each life.