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Johns Hopkins Health - To Statin or Not to Statin

Fall 2015
Issue No. 30

To Statin or Not to Statin

Date: October 9, 2015


Cholesterol-lowering statins are the go-to Rx for people with a history of heart attacks and strokes. What’s not so clear-cut is when the medication should be taken as a purely preventative treatment by those who don’t have heart disease but who are potentially at risk. Johns Hopkins cardiologist Erin Michos, M.D., has this recommendation: “Think of statins as risk-reducing drugs.” They are advised for anyone who has at least a 15 percent risk of having heart disease or a stroke within 10 years, based on the American Heart Association’s Cardiovascular Disease Risk Estimator. They also are a “good choice” to consider for those with at least a 7.5 percent risk. Your doctor can review your risk factors and help you weigh the pros and cons of going on a statin. 

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