Current Atherosclerosis Reports

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 167–174 | Cite as

The Role of Statin Therapy for Primary Prevention: What is the Evidence?

  • Rebecca Rudominer Ascunce
  • Jeffrey S. Berger
  • Howard S. Weintraub
  • Arthur Schwartzbard
Coronary Heart Disease (J Farmer, Section Editor)


Almost one third of annual worldwide mortality is attributed to cardiovascular disease (CVD), making it the leading cause of global death. Dyslipidemia is a well-established risk factor for CVD and plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. Statins, which inhibit 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase and lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, have emerged as the most effective therapy to date against atherothrombotic CVD. Although their role in secondary prevention of CVD is undisputed, it remains a topic for debate as to how widely they should be used for primary prevention. The Framingham Risk Score and the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III guidelines are the cornerstones for the current guidelines for primary prevention statin therapy. Although these guidelines serve as help to evaluate cardiovascular risk and effectively identify many patients who will benefit from statin therapy, there is a growing population of “intermediate-risk” patients who may be undertreated. Additional noninvasive tests may complement the traditional risk scores, potentially expanding the indications for statins.


Statins Primary prevention Evidence 


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC (outside the USA) 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rebecca Rudominer Ascunce
    • 1
  • Jeffrey S. Berger
    • 1
  • Howard S. Weintraub
    • 1
  • Arthur Schwartzbard
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Medicine, Division of CardiologyNYU Langone Medical CenterNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Division of Cardiology, NYU Langone Medical Center, and Manhattan Campus of the VA NY Harbor Healthcare SystemNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Medical Center, Department of CardiologyVA NY Harbor HealthCare SystemNew YorkUSA

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