So, you’ve just been diagnosed with high cholesterol and early stages of heart disease. It’s a scary moment, and you and your doctor are going over your options. He suggests you go on a cholesterol lowering statin drug. What do you think the odds are that this will prevent a heart attack for you?
This is a graph showing patient’s willingness to take a cholesterol lowering statin drug based on the benefit it provides. If the drug prevented 100% of future cases of heart attack, nearly every single patient would be willing to take the drug. That makes sense. It’s a slam dunk.
Even if the drug prevented just 50% of new heart attacks, most would still want to take the drug.
But, if the drug prevented say, just 3% of new heart attacks, the vast majority would not want to take the drug.
Guess how many future heart attacks statins prevent?