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QRISK score 10-20%

Why have you been advised to look at this page? 

Your recent blood tests have shown that you have a raised cholesterol and QRISK score of 10-20%. This means that 10-20 of every 100 people with cardiovascular risks like yourself will have a stroke or heart attack over the next ten years. You can reduce your risk through lifestyle changes, and we can help you with medication. 

How can you help yourself? 

Whatever is your risk score, it is always sensible to try and lower your risk. You will not be able to change risk factors like your age, ethnic background, or family history, but there are always steps you can take to lower your risk in other ways. These include: 

Stopping smoking if you are a smoker – help is available at Home - One Small Step Devon  

Eating a healthy diet – for further information please visit 

Keeping your weight and waistline under control - help is available at Home - One Small Step Devon 

Taking regular physical activity.  

Cutting back if you regularly drink alcohol – help is available at 

How can we help you? 

Current guidance suggest that you should consider starting medication (statins) to lower cholesterol in addition to making lifestyle changes. Statins are a group of fat-lowering medications which help lower the risk of having strokes and heart attacks when taken every day as a long-term medication.  

It is important that even if statins are prescribed, they should not be used in isolation from other lifestyle changes and activities to reduce your overall risk. These will include some of the things mentioned above.  

Statins are generally safe, but as with most medications unwanted side effects may occur. These include headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and, less commonly, liver problems and inflammation of the muscles. Statins are not suitable for people with liver disease or pregnant/breast-feeding women and can interact with some types of other medication, you should also avoid drinking grapefruit juice while taking statins.  

Link for more information on statins- 

What are the next steps? 

If you would like to start on a statin, or have any questions, please contact your GP.  


What are cardiovascular risk factors? 


  • Smoking

  • High blood pressure

  • Diabetes

  • Poor diet and excessive alcohol

  • Lack of exercise

  • Being overweight

Non Modifiable

  • Age

  • Sex

  • Strong family history

  • Ethnic origin

Unfortunately, the more risk factors you have, the greater your risk.  

Why is my risk 10-20%? 

QRISK is calculated by putting data including your age, ethnicity, postcode, blood pressure, cholesterol levels smoking and diabetes status into a risk calculator.  

It is important to note that this risk will never be zero for anybody and it increases with age. 

Please follow this link to find out more about QRISK scores. 

Where can I find more information? 

British Heart Foundation:


Uk or phone 0300 330 3322  

Patient UK (United Kingdom) Information Leaflets:

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