A new study of over 165,000 people currently taking statins has found that 51% are not experiencing the full benefits of the drug after taking the medication for two years.

According to the BBC, approximately half of those participating in the University of Nottingham study did not experience sufficient lowering of their cholesterol levels.

Statins are widely used to try to reduce the cholesterol which contributes to the likelihood of someone developing cardiovascular disease.

However, according to the new report, over 80,000 of those studied did not achieve the 40% reduction in bad cholesterol as specified by NICE, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

Various possible explanations for this inadequate success rate have been suggested including a genetic factor or a failure by patients to take their medication as prescribed.

The Associate Medical Director of the British Heart Foundation commented that people who have been prescribed statins should continue to take them as instructed.

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