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Statins: Are They Right For You?

Thuy McKitrick

By Thuy McKitrick, Pharmacy Program Manager

Statin drugs are among the most commonly prescribed medications in the U.S. They have been shown to significantly reduce the risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who should take statins?

Statins are recommended for people who have been diagnosed with heart disease, who have had a heart attack or stroke, have a stent, or who are known to have plaque in their body.

Statins are also recommended for people known to be high-risk based on other conditions, like a genetic predisposition to high cholesterol or heart disease, or diabetes.

My cholesterol level is normal. Why do I need a statin?

Statins provide additional protection from heart attacks and strokes even if your cholesterol is normal or low.

My diabetes is well controlled. Do I still need a statin?

Patients who have a diagnosis of diabetes, controlled or not, are still at a 2-4 fold higher risk for heart disease and would benefit from a statin.

To lower the risk of developing heart disease, most people with diabetes should take a stain.

I heard statins can cause diabetes. Is this true?

Studies have shown a small number of new diabetes diagnoses. However, this is minimal when compared to the number of cardiac events that could have been prevented.

Can I just exercise and diet?

Statins provide the added benefit of anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that have been shown to reduce heart attacks/strokes.

I get muscle aches when I take statins.

Many people who experience muscle symptoms can keep taking their statin at a lower dose. Up to 90% of patients can tolerate a different statin. Talk to your provider if you’re experiencing any side effects.

Talk to your health care provider

If you have had a cardiac event, are at risk for a cardiac event or have diabetes, ask your provider if a statin would be beneficial for you.

Physician Health Partners care coordinators can help!

Care coordinators provide support to help you connect with a provider and get the care you need. Talk with a care coordinator today.

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Date Posted: July 24, 2020