More evidence that statins could prevent blood clots in the veins

Posted by ap507 at Mar 28, 2017 12:24 PM |
Universities of Leicester and Bristol lead new research into role statins play in lowering risk of venous thromboembolism

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 28 March 2017

Further evidence has been found by Universities of Leicester and Bristol researchers to suggest statins could “significantly reduce” the occurrence of blood clotting in certain parts of the body.

The research team analysed several studies previously carried out on the cholesterol-lowering pill and found the drug might have a potential role to play in lowering the recurring risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE).

The study was supported by NIHR Collaboration for Leadership for Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) East Midlands and published in the European Heart Journal. 

It follows a similar study published in January from the same research team, which suggested statins reduced the threat of the condition by between 15 and 25 per cent.

Speaking about the latest study, Co-investigator Professor Kamlesh Khunti, Professor of Primary Care Diabetes & Vascular Medicine at the University of Leicester, Director NIHR CLAHRC East Midlands and Co-Director of the Leicester Diabetes Centre, said: “There have been suggestions that statins may have a potential role in preventing VTE, but the evidence has not been consistent.

“We wanted to explore the subject further, by bringing all the studies together in a bid to evaluate the association between statins and reoccurring VTE. It’s important we know as much as we can about this condition, because it’s thought it kills one person from around the world every six seconds.

“Although serious, most blood clots can be completely avoided, with the right care. However, treatment has a considerable economic burden on the UK’s health service as it’s thought to cost around £640 million to manage the condition.”

During the process, a pooled analysis was carried out on eight studies, involving more than 103,500 participants, which were based on statins and VTE. 

Lead researcher Dr Setor Kunutsor, from the University of Bristol’s Musculoskeletal Research Unit, which is in the School of Clinical Sciences, said: “Although our research has not identified a cause of VTE, they do underscore a potential role of statin therapy when dealing with the condition.

“Our research shows accumulating evidence that statins may have a potential role to play in both primary and secondary prevention of VTE.”

It is hoped the discovery could potentially lead to new guidelines and an expansion of the use of treatment, which is already established in cardiovascular disease prevention.

NIHR CLAHRC East Midlands is a collaboration of NHS, universities, patients and industry turning research into cost-saving and high-quality care through cutting-edge innovation.

The Leicester Diabetes Centre, based at Leicester General Hospital, is an International Centre of Excellence in diabetes research and education. It is a partnership between the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and the University of Leicester led by Professor Khunti and Professor Melanie Davies CBE.


Notes to editors:

  • For further details, to arrange an interview or more photographs, email or call 07803 003811 or 01604 882342.
  • The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is funded by the Department of Health to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research. The NIHR is the research arm of the NHS. Since its establishment in April 2006, the NIHR has transformed research in the NHS. It has increased the volume of applied health research for the benefit of patients and the public, driven faster translation of basic science discoveries into tangible benefits for patients and the economy, and developed and supported the people who conduct and contribute to applied health research. The NIHR plays a key role in the Government’s strategy for economic growth, attracting investment by the life-sciences industries through its world-class infrastructure for health research. Together, the NIHR people, programmes, centres of excellence and systems represent the most integrated health research system in the world. For further information, visit
  • The Diabetes Research Centre is based at the Leicester Diabetes Centre.
  • The Leicester Diabetes Centre is an international centre of excellence in diabetes research, education and innovation and is led by Professor Melanie Davies CBE and Professor Kamlesh Khunti.
  • Hosted at Leicester General Hospital, the Leicester Diabetes Centre is a partnership between the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and the University of Leicester, working with the city and county Clinical Commissioning Groups. It is a leading applied health research unit committed to improving the lives and care of people with diabetes and other long-term conditions.
  • The University of Bristol is one of the most popular and successful universities in the UK. It was ranked within the top 50 universities in the world in the QS World University Rankings 2016. The University of Bristol is ranked among the top five institutions in the UK for its research, according to new analysis of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, and is the 3rd most targeted university by top UK employers.  Bristol is a member of the Russell Group of UK research-intensive universities, and a member of the Worldwide Universities Network, a grouping of research-led institutions of international standing. 
  • For more information about the Leicester Diabetes Centre, visit


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