QRisk & Statins

You recently had some blood tests at the practice including your cholesterol level.  As you may know the amount of cholesterol in your blood can increase you risk of developing cardiovascular disease, which includes heart attack and stroke.  However, cholesterol is just one risk factor for cardiovascular disease and by using this along with other information we can calculate your risk of developing heart disease or a stroke over the next ten years (QRisk). This is based on age, blood pressure, cholesterol and other factors. You are being sent this information because your risk is greater than 10% and you may benefit from some lifestyle changes and could consider starting a cholesterol-lowering treatment (atorvastatin).

Risk is the chance of something happening.  Your QRisk score will tell us if you are at low, moderate or high risk of developing cardiovascular disease in the next 10 years.

Low risk – Qrisk less than 10%

Moderate risk – Qrisk 10-20%

High risk – Qrisk more than 20%

If you know that your risk is high, you may be able to change parts of your lifestyle to reduce this risk. It has also been shown that starting a medication called a statin can be beneficial in reducing your risk of having a heart attack or stroke in the next 10 years. Ensure that your blood pressure is well controlled.

  • Ensure that your blood pressure is well controlled.
  • Consider your diet and if there are any changes that can make this healthier. More information can be found online by searching for ‘BHF healthy eating toolkit’
  • Consider your activity levels and how you can be more active.
  • If you smoke, consider stopping. 
  • If your BMI is over 25 you would benefit from losing weight.

For further advice and useful information, check out the links below.

A statin is a medication, designed to be taken every night, which is used to reduce cholesterol levels and risk of developing heart disease or stroke by up to 25%. It works by reducing the production of cholesterol in the body and protect the inside of your arteries.  There are no “doctor’s orders” here – different people have different preferences as to whether they think this reduction in risk is worth taking a long-term daily tablet for. The commonest side effect is muscle pain, which generally resolves if the tablet is stopped (studies suggest only a 3% increase risk in muscle side effects). In a small number of cases this medication can also have an impact upon your liver function so we would need to monitor this.

If you do choose to start taking a statin tablet, we will need to do a blood test to check your liver function and cholesterol three months after starting. A blood request form will be posted. Following the initial blood check, we will check your blood tests annually.

Did you know? You can now ‘drop in’ to get your bloods taken at the new Community Stadium on Kathryn Avenue, Monks Cross Drive, Huntington, YO32 9AF. The facility has free car parking for up to two hours.