Statins: ‘Harms Have Been Overestimated,’ Says Review

Statins refer to class of prescription drugs used to lower the levels of low density lipoproteins (LDL), the bad cholesterol. Statins help to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease by lowering production of LDL cholesterol in the liver.

Key takeaways:

  • The side effects of statins are largely overestimated whereas the benefits of the drugs are underrated.
  • Statin therapy was found to lower the risk of heart-related events with larger LDL cholesterol reductions.
  • 1 millimole per liter reduction in LDL cholesterol lowered the risk of ischemic stroke, heart attack, heart-related deaths, and coronary artery bypass surgery by around 25 percent each year after the first year of statin therapy.

As an example, the team found evidence to suggest that a 2 millimole per liter reduction in LDL cholesterol with statin therapy – 40 milligrams of atorvastatin daily – is associated with an almost 50 percent reduction in the risk of a major cardiovascular event.

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