Who Benefits From Taking a Statin, and When?

On Fundamentally Restructuring Our Thinking Regarding Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease

Maarten J.G. Leening, MD, PhD


Circulation. 2020;142(9):838-840. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Some time ago, a 38-year-old woman consulted me to discuss how she could reduce her chances of myocardial infarction or stroke. Her low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level was ≈160 mg/dL and she had recently quit smoking after her sister had a heart attack. She was not so much interested in her absolute risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), but she wanted to know "if" she could benefit from taking a statin and "when" to start doing so. I was unable to provide her with unequivocal answers. This made me think about how we approach primary prevention of ASCVD.