New national guidelines in England and Wales will increase the number of adults prescribed cholesterol-lowering statin drugs by 1.5 million.
Under the latest recommendations, computer software would be used to pick out those aged 40 to 75 years who are considered to be at high risk. The risk assessment would take into account factors beyond high cholesterol, including age, sex, blood pressure and whether or not they smoke.
About 4 million people in England and Wales are already taking statins. The additional drugs will cost 35 million British pounds annually.
* BBC News May 27, 2008