If you have high cholesterol, chances are your physician has prescribed or suggested using a statin drug. Statin use is considered the most powerful medication currently available to help tame high levels of cholesterol. High cholesterol can lead to heart attack and stroke so reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease is important.
- high blood pressure
- exercise habits
- family history
- current cardiovascular health
Four Groups of People Which Would Benefit from Statin Therapy
- Those people who have cardiovascular disease. This includes people who have a) had a heart attack, b) stroke, c) mini-strokes (transient ischemic attacks), d) arm or leg artery disease or e) surgery to open or replace coronary arteries.
- Those people who have very high LDL cholesterol. This includes people who have LDL cholesterol levels of 190 milligrams per deciliter or higher.
- Those people who have diabetes AND an LDL cholesterol of 70 mg/dl or higher.
- Those people with a 10 year risk of heart attack of 7.5 percent and LDL above 100 mg/dl.
Potential Side Effects of Statin Use
- Muscle Issues – If you are older, female or of Asian descent or have liver, kidney or muscle disease, or an under active thyroid, you may be at risk for muscle problems when using a statin.
- Increase in blood sugar levels that can lead to Type 2 diabetes.
- Elevated liver enzymes