Some people who do not have heart disease can benefit from statins. Statins lower cholesterol levels in your blood. High cholesterol puts you at risk for serious heart or blood vessel disease. This type of disease is called atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). It includes heart attack, heart failure, clogged arteries, and stroke.
The higher your risk, the more statins can help you. Talk to your doctor about taking a statin if:
- Your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol is very high (over 190 mg/dL)
- You have diabetes and are age 40 and 75
- You are at risk for ASCVD and age 40 and 75
Knowing your ASCVD risk can help you and your doctor make decisions about high cholesterol treatment. Your doctor can calculate your ASCVD risk. There is also an easy to use online calculator found here: ASCVD Risk Estimator Plus.
Your ASCVD risk tells you how likely you are to get this disease over the next 10 years. If your risk is 7.5% or higher, statins may help you. This is true even if you don’t have heart disease yet.
Some people who are younger than 40, older than 75, or have cholesterol levels below 190 mg/dL may also benefit from statins. Talk to your doctor about whether a statin is right for you.
Statins are a way to help keep heart disease at bay!