Originally posted May 7, 2012.
This archived Time article recently caught my attention. Halving heart-attack risk would sure be a welcome result. The article noted the following:
- 17,800 people were tracked in the study.
- Half (8,900) were given a placebo.
- Half (8,900) were given the statin drug Crestor.
- Over about two years, the article notes, 31 statin-takers suffered a heart attack.
- When compared to the placebo group, the figures translate to a 54% lower risk of heart attack.
- It would thus calculate that perhaps 67 non-statin takers suffered a heart attack.
- Thus 36 heart attacks were potentially prevented.
- The NNT (number needed to treat): 8,900 people needed to be treated to prevent 36 potential heart attacks.
- It can thus be calculated that 247 people needed to be given Crestor to potentially prevent one heart attack.
And the headline reads that heart attack risk was halved! What’s your read?
A 247 NNT holds little appeal for me. How about you?
I would be interested in what side effects occurred for the entire 8,900 Crestor takers.