Statins, also known as HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, are a class of lipid-lowering medications that reduce illness and mortality in those who are at high risk of cardiovascular disease. They are the most common cholesterol-lowering drugs. Low-density lipoprotein carriers of cholesterol play a key role in the development of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease via the mechanisms described by the lipid hypothesis. Statins are effective in lowering LDL cholesterol and so are widely used for primary prevention in people at high risk of cardiovascular disease, as well as in secondary prevention for those who have developed cardiovascular disease. Side effects of statins include muscle pain, increased risk of diabetes mellitus, and abnormal blood levels of liver enzymes. Additionally, they have rare but severe adverse effects, particularly muscle damage. They inhibit the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase which plays a central role in the production of cholesterol.

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