A 2012 Oxford University study, published in The Lancet medical journal, showed that even very low-risk patients benefited from taking cholesterol-lowering statins.
Rory Collins, professor of medicine at Oxford University, worked on the research and said the number of people who could begin taking statins as a result of the new Nice guidance "would be in the the order" of around five million.
He added: "The evidence is very strong that the treatment is cost-effective at these lower levels. Doctors are now in a position to offer statins on this basis."
He said it was up to individual patients to decide whether they wanted to take statins, based on their risk assessment, but Nice's strategy would "reduce the burden on the health service".
The NHS estimates that statins save 7,000 lives a year in the UK.
More top news
Rain in the north tonight, cloudy and humid in the south
Britain is to set out proposals to ensure that cross-border legal disputes are dealt with in a "fair and sensible way" after Brexit.
Eva Echeverria claimed she developed ovarian cancer from using the company's talc products like Baby Powder.