5

things to know about statins

1 Statins are among the most widely prescribed drugs in the world

About 28% of Americans over 40 take a cholesterol-lowering drug, and more than 90% of those people are taking a statin.

2 People in good
health take statins too

While some patients who have cardiovascular disease take statins, you may be advised to take a statin based on your family history or other factors, such as smoking, that put you at risk for heart disease later, even though you are otherwise healthy.

3 Statins do more than
just lower cholesterol

The added health benefits of statin therapy include lowering the risk of a heart attack or stroke. For some patients the risk of heart attack, stroke, and death from heart disease has been reduced by up to 35%.

4 Taking statins is
not a substitute for
a healthy lifestyle

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle while taking a statin can improve the effectiveness of the drug. Be sure to eat healthy, exercise, and limit smoking and alcohol consumption.

5 There are benefits and risks with taking statins

Muscle weakness is perhaps the most common complaint of statin users. While most patients don’t experience this effect, be sure to bring up muscle weakness or any other side effects with your doctor.