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Taylor F, Huffman MD, Macedo AF, et al. Statins for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013(1):CD004816.
What are the effects of statins in people with no history of cardiovascular disease?
Cardiovascular disease refers to diseases that involve the heart and the system of arteries, veins, and vessels that carry blood throughout the body.
High blood cholesterol increases the chances of cardiovascular disease events such as chest pain, heart attacks, or strokes.
Reducing high blood cholesterol is an important goal of treatment with medications. Statins are a group of cholesterol-lowering drugs. They are a first choice for this purpose.
This is an update of a 2007 systematic review.
The systematic review included 18 randomized controlled trials of 56,934 people who were 28 to 97 years of age (average age 57 years, 60% men).
Pharmaceutical companies fully or partially funded trials. Risk of bias was low.
Outcomes included mortality from all causes, fatal and nonfatal coronary heart disease, cardiovascular disease and stroke, restoration of blood circulation, change in total and LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol, adverse effects, quality of life, and costs.
People were followed up for 1 to 5 years.
Compared with placebo, statins
Statins caused no harms.
Statins reduce all-cause mortality, major vascular events, and need for procedures to restore blood circulation in people with no history of cardiovascular disease.