Harvard Men's Health Watch

Should you take a statin even if your cholesterol is normal?

Consider this option after determining your personal risk with your doctor.

Statin drugs reduce LDL ("bad") cholesterol, the type that puts you at risk for cardiovascular disease. But even if your cholesterol is not particularly high, it could still be smart to consider starting a statin.

Drugs have risks, and doctors are wary of giving them to healthy people to prevent future illness unless the benefits are clearly established. Besides, critics say, we already have a safe and effective way to prevent cardiovascular disease: a healthy diet and regular exercise. They also think the evidence for preventive statin use isn't entirely established yet.

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