Prescribing statins to anyone with a total cholesterol of over 200 and/or an LDL of over 100 has become the "standard of care". Doctors fear getting sued if they don't prescribe statin drugs and a patient later has a cardiovascular event. Doctors prescribe statins even if HDL is high, triglycerides are low (these ratios turn out to be much better predictors of cardiovascular disease and risk factors), and the patient shows absolutely no sign of heart disease.
In the sleep apnea world this is equivalent to the sleep specialists who no matter what questions, concerns, or data you bring to the appointment simply give you the “Are you using the machine? Good, see you in a year” as they walk out the door.
It may be “standard of care”, but my own reading and research indicates that there is NO benefit to taking statins unless you're a male under the age of 65 who has already had a heart attack. There are many side effects from taking statins, some of them can be serious. Furthermore, statins supposedly work by lowering cholesterol—yet there is plenty of evidence (peer reviewed studies) showing that lower total cholesterol and LDL is not predictive of cardiovascular disease or risk, and lower levels of LDL in particular have been associated with increased cancer deaths, especially in women. Recent evidence shows that statins’ only real benefit may be their anti-inflammatory effect, but you can get the same or better results from an anti-inflammatory diet (removing most carbohydrates and all transfats, and added poly unsaturated fatty acids from the diet) more cheaply and safely.
I see no reason to take statins. I think they are widely prescribed because of ubiquitous advertising by the manufactures which has created the standard of care and fear of litigation on the part of physicians, not because there is sufficient evidence of their efficacy. (If you want a good treatise on how the statistical analysis of data is manipulated by drug companies see this video: http://youtu.be/3vr-c8GeT34
Beware: It's a long video and the best information is packed into the last few minutes. You can download the slides Dr. Diamond used in his presentation here http://www.cas.usf.edu/news/Diamond_USF.pdf
and find your way to the peer-reviewed studies he cites.)
I will not take statins. This is just my personal opinion, not advice to anybody else, other than it’s always a good idea to do your own thinking and research. I don’t disagree with Kong about talking to your own doctor about statins and making a decision with your doctor about whether or not they make sense for your health. But I will say that most doctors don’t do their own independent research or thinking about how the data was reported touting the benefits of these drugs. They don’t have time to read and compare every journal article, and the references cited in those articles. Most of their information about drugs comes from drug reps, and I find that scary. Your doctor may have other reasons than your individual health needs for prescribing this class of drugs—often prescribing statins is used as a quality indicator in rating your doctor within his practice or an HMO, regardless of an individual patient’s actual risk factors.
I, for one, have decided that I will NOT take statins, and I don’t fear an increased risk of cardiovascular disease because of any lack of statin drugs. Do your own research.