Benefits Outweigh Risks of Statins

Published Online: Tuesday, November 1, 2005

A recent study shows that a larger segment of the population could see the positive effects of statin therapy. For instance, the medication could help prevent patients with diabetes and individuals at high risk of heart disease from experiencing a heart attack or stroke, even if their cholesterol levels do not fall into the high category.

In their study, the researchers assessed the results of 14 earlier trials involving statin treatment in 90,000 individuals. Aside from high-risk patients with low cholesterol showing positive results, the international research team said that the individuals who had the highest reduction in their cholesterol level reaped the greatest benefit.

The researchers found no evidence of an increased risk of cancer. They also found no evidence that extremely low cholesterol levels were linked with increased odds of being diagnosed with other diseases. Although higher doses of statins were tied to a higher risk of serious muscle problems, those occurrences were rare.

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