Harvard Women's Health Watch

Why you may need a statin

Although risk calculators disagree, at some point age becomes the deciding factor in the decision to take a cholesterol-lowering medication.

statin-heart-medication
Image: Thinkstock

If you've been diligent about monitoring your risk factors for developing heart disease, you may have realized that online calculators can be helpful. If you have the results from your latest cholesterol test, these online calculators can compute your chance of having a heart attack or stroke in the next decade:

However, each may give you a slightly different number. And while the Framingham calculator might indicate that your risk is low and therefore you don't need a cholesterol-lowering statin drug, the ACC/AHA calculator could indicate that you should be taking a statin to reduce your risk.

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