Harvard Men's Health Watch

The pros and cons of statins

Statin drugs reduce bad cholesterol and lower the overall risk of heart attacks and strokes substantially, although taking the drug does not guarantee an individual will not have a heart attack at some point. Not all muscle side effects people experience while taking statins are because of the drug. Many people who stop taking a statin because of suspected side effects but then start again are able to continue taking the drug. Statin effects on memory are not proven. Statins can raise blood sugar somewhat and lead to diagnosis of diabetes in those who are already at risk. Statins also protect people with diabetes from cardiovascular problems, so the overall effect may be positive even when statins raise blood sugar enough for a diagnosis of diabetes.
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