Don't be afraid of statins

Statins can help men lower their risk of heart attack and stroke, yet many resist them.

Statins have been doing what they do — lowering cholesterol to help prevent cardiovascular disease — for more than three decades. Still, many people who could benefit from the drug don't take it.

"Statins have a role in men's health under the right circumstances," says Dr. Randall Zusman, director of the Division of Hypertension at the Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center. "Yet, men who can benefit from statin therapy sometimes avoid it because they misunderstand how the drug works, including the nature and frequency of side effects, as well as the larger role statin therapy can take in managing their longer-term health."

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