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'Millions could prevent heart problems through statins'
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A new study has suggested that millions of older people could dramatically reduce their risk of heart attacks and other heart problems through statins.

US research named the Jupiter study found that those with normal cholesterol levels but high levels of a protein associated with heart disease could benefit.

Scientists investigated the response of those with C-reactive protein – which is linked to heart disease – to AstraZeneca's statin Crestor.

Currently, medical experts in the US suggest that about 58 per cent of men aged 50 and older and women aged 60 and older would benefit from taking statins.

However, the study, published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, found that many more people could also see results from the drugs.

According to the research, 77 per cent of Americans in those age groups - the equivalent of 45 million people - should take the pills.

Dr Erica Spatz of Yale University in Connecticut, who led the study, said: “If the effects of this study bear out, the majority of people would be recommended to take a statin.

However, she added: "You need to use caution as we move ahead, especially because this affects so many people."