Statins are a type of medicine used to treat high cholesterol. These medicines block an enzyme the body needs to produce cholesterol, thereby lowering the total amount of it in the blood.
Statins, also known as HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, help reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Along with reducing cholesterol levels in the blood, statins reduce inflammation around the cholesterol buildup (called a plaque). By stabilizing the plaque, there is less risk that it will rupture and cause a blood clot that can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
Primary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerRobert A. Kloner, MD, PhD - Cardiology
Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Current as ofMarch 12, 2014
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise