To the Editor The JAMA Patient Page on statins1 stated that “a 2010 analysis combined the results of 11 studies and found that taking statins did not lower the death rate for people who did not have heart disease.” This is not accurate.
The 2010 meta-analysis by Ray et al2 investigated the effect of statins on the mortality of patients without a history of heart disease and estimated that the risk ratio associated with statin use was 0.91 (95% CI, 0.83-1.01). In other words, statins most likely reduce all-cause mortality by 9%; they might reduce mortality by as much as 17% and they are unlikely to increase it by more than 1%. A policy statement by the American Heart Association described the Ray et al estimate as having “found a trend toward reduced all-cause mortality.”3
von Hippel P. Statin Therapy for Hyperlipidemia. JAMA. 2013;310(11):1185. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.276740