Patients with high cholesterol levels, which have led to an increased risk of suffering a heart attack, should be prescribed statins immediately, according to one expert.
Professor Peter Weissberg, the British Heart Foundation's (BHF) medical director, stated that the medication should be started "promptly" and the patient should continue to take them "indefinitely".
His comments came after new research was published in the Lancet which recorded the results of observations on 20,000 high-cholesterol patients over an 11-year period.
The study revealed that statins caused no long-term side effects and were not associated with an increased risk of cancer.
Statins work by targeting the liver - the organ where the cholesterol is made – and before a patient begins to take statin medication they should have their liver assessed by a doctor, states the BHF.
The charity also said that people taking simvastatin, a common variety of statin, should avoid consuming grapefruit produce as it can cause complications.