Harvard Health Letter

Are cholesterol lowering statins for everyone?

New guidelines for statins use continue to be controversial. For otherwise healthy adults, the guidelines take the focus off LDL or “bad” cholesterol as a marker for statin use and place the focus on the risk for developing heart disease or stroke. Statins are now advised for otherwise healthy adults with a 7.5% risk for heart attack or stroke in the next 10 years. However, people ages 64 and older meet the criteria based on age alone. And it’s not known if a statin would help prevent heart attack in an otherwise healthy older adult with normal cholesterol.
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