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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.
Last Revised: June 29, 2012
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Robert A. Kloner, MD, PhD - Cardiology & Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
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