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Statin Preventive Medication

Research has found that statin medications can safely prevent cardiovascular disease in certain adults ages 40 to 75. Cardiovascular disease includes hypertension, coronary heart disease, heart failure, stroke and/or congenital cardiovascular heart defects.

Statin medications (statins) are drugs that help lower cholesterol levels in the blood.

Who is at risk

Adults aged 40 to 75 years who have 1 or more CVD risk factors (ie, dyslipidemia, diabetes, hypertension, or smoking) and have a calculated 10-year risk of a cardiovascular event of 10% or greater.

What you can do

  • Keep your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol under control.
  • Exercise and eat a healthy diet.
  • Do not smoke or quit if you do.

Preventive service at no cost

Adults aged 40 to 75 years with no history of CVD, 1 or more CVD risk factors, and a calculated 10-year CVD event risk of 10% or greater

The USPSTF recommends that adults without a history of cardiovascular disease (CVD) (ie, symptomatic coronary artery disease or ischemic stroke) use a low- to moderate-dose statin for the prevention of CVD events and mortality when all of the following criteria are met: 1) they are aged 40 to 75 years; 2) they have 1 or more CVD risk factors (ie, dyslipidemia, diabetes, hypertension, or smoking); and 3) they have a calculated 10-year risk of a cardiovascular event of 10% or greater.


Why the service is important

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States, accounting for 1 of every 3 deaths among adults. Many people can prevent getting cardiovascular disease by taking a statin.

What the service is

Your doctor will prescribe a statin medication if it is right for you. Statin medications (also called HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors) include Atorvastatin, Rosuvastatin, Simvastatin, Pravastatin, Lovastatin, Fluvastatin, Pitavastatin and are recommended based on cardiovascular risk factors and LDL cholesterol levels/goals.

Treatment

You should keep going with the treatment you are already receiving for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes. If you smoke, talk to your doctor about quitting.

Additional tips

Statin medications are not meant to be used as a substitute for a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise (about an hour each day), smart food choices and maintaining a healthy weight (body mass index [BMI] below 25).