Harvard Heart Letter

Spotlight on cardiovascular drugs: Statins on the front line against heart disease

Cholesterol-lowering drugs also fight inflammation, stabilize plaque, prevent blood clots, and more.

Editors' note

Medications are a fact of life for almost everyone with cardiovascular disease. From aspirin to Zocor, these drugs work to ease symptoms, strengthen and protect the heart and blood vessels, and prevent potentially deadly events like heart attacks and strokes. With this article, we begin an occasional series that gives an overview of the various classes of cardiovascular medications.

If you have heart disease, or are trying to avoid it, the odds are good that you take a statin. These cholesterol-lowering drugs, first approved in 1987, are among the most widely used cardiovascular medications in the world.

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