Cholesterol Home > What Are Statins Used For?

Although lowering total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol is the primary use of statins, these medications may also help increase HDL cholesterol and lower triglyceride levels. Statin uses also include decreasing the chances of developing heart disease (such as heart attacks and strokes). Some have been approved to treat high cholesterol in children with a condition known as heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia.

Statins Uses: An Overview

Statins are a group of prescription medications originally approved for improving cholesterol levels. While this is still probably the most common use for statins, some have been approved for additional uses.

Using Statins for Cholesterol Treatment

Statins are used for improving cholesterol levels in those people who cannot improve cholesterol numbers through lifestyle changes alone. Statins can lower total cholesterol and LDL ("bad cholesterol"), increase HDL ("good cholesterol"), and lower triglyceride levels in the blood. They usually have the most effect on LDL cholesterol, with modest effects on HDL cholesterol and triglycerides.

Statin Use for Heart Disease

Statins are also used to decrease the chances of developing heart disease in people who have high cholesterol without any existing coronary heart disease. In this group of people, some statins have been shown to decrease the chances of:
In people who already have heart disease, some statins have also been shown to decrease the chances of developing several conditions, including:
Some statins have been shown to decrease the rate at which atherosclerosis develops in people who have an existing heart disease.
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Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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