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Many people are aware of the controversy over the use of statins for preventing cardiovascular events in patients at high risk but who have not had any previous known heart disease.

This clear and thorough presentation of the controversy illustrates both its complexity, and why it is critical that you and your doctor make a collaborative shared decision before using statins to reduce your cholesterol as a way to prevent cardiovascular disease.

The benefit of statins is unclear compared to their risks. In this setting of medical uncertainty, it is critical that your own values and goals guide the decision on whether to take them or not.

It is important to recall that there are alternatives to taking statins like exercise and diet for preventing cardiovascular disease, and although they are difficult to execute, they likely carry less risk.

Some may prefer to take their chances with medications that clearly have some benefit, but others may prefer to make stronger efforts at lifestyle changes.

A collaborative decision with your doctor allows you to make the choice that you prefer, rather than the one that experts who don’t know you have promoted.

If you were not sure about how to collaborate in this way with your doctor, we can help. Email or call for a free consultation regarding our education, coaching, and advocacy.