Statins slash the risk of dying of heart attacks and strokes by 28 per cent, a major study has revealed.
Scientists say the benefits of the pills are so convincing that they should be offered to patients in their 30s and 40s.
The 20-year-trial – the longest of its kind so far – looked at 5,529 men aged 45 to 64 who were in relatively good health.
Half were given a weak type of statin to take daily for between five and 20 years and the remainder were given a placebo, or dummy drug.
Those men who took statins were 28 per cent less likely to have died from a heart attack or stroke within that 20 year time frame.
They also had a 25 per cent lower risk of suffering a heart attack over that period.