At least a quarter of English adults have cholesterol levels above the ideal, yet only one in 50 take cholesterol lowering drugs, finds a study in this week's British Medical Journal. National guidelines recommend that cholesterol-lowering drugs should be used for people with a history of coronary heart disease, or those with the highest risk of developing coronary heart disease. Using data from over 13,500 English adults, researchers in London found that only 30% of people with a history of coronary heart disease were taking cholesterol lowering drugs, with only one in eight reaching the recommended cholesterol target. Among those high-risk people identified, only 3% were taking cholesterol-lowering drugs. The authors estimated that if cholesterol lowering was achieved in the remaining 70% of untreated adults with a history of coronary heart disease, about 7,000 fatal or non-fatal heart attacks and about 2,500 fatal or non-fatal strokes would be avoided each year.