Myths About Statins

What are statins?

Statins are medicines that can be used to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes. They work by blocking a substance the body needs to create cholesterol. Here are some common myths about taking statins:

  • Taking a statin causes aches and pains
  • There is a small chance of muscle ache side effects, which can be managed by your primary care provider.
  • Those with normal cholesterol don't need to take statins
  • Even if your cholesterol levels are normal, having diabetes, smoking, being overweight or obese or drinking too much alcohol can raise your risk for heart disease.

To learn more about statins, talk to your primary care provider. If you don't have one, visit


What is heart disease?

Heart disease involves different types of problems that can affect your heart. In the United States, one in every four deaths is due to heart disease and it is the leading cause of death among men and women.[1]


Statin myths:

"Taking a statin will cause me aches and pains."

There is only a 5-10% chance of muscle ache side effects. If you are in the small percentage of people experiencing muscle aches, talk to your primary care provider about prescribing a different dose or statin.

"I don't need to take a statin, my cholesterol is normal."

Even if your cholesterol is fine, the below factors can also raise your risk for heart disease[2]:

  • If you have diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Being overweight of having obesity
  • Not having enough physical activity
  • Eating a diet high in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol and sodium (salt)
  • Drinking too much alcohol

For more information about statins or heart disease, talk to your primary care provider.


View statin graphic