HealthDay News — The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that certain adults aged 40 to 75 years without cardiovascular disease (CVD) history but with 1 or more cardiovascular (CV) risk factors initiate statins. 

These recommendations are included in the final recommendation statement published in the November 15 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, a theme issue on statins.

Researchers for the USPSTF reviewed the literature to assess the benefits and harms of statins for prevention of CVD. Data were included from 19 trials with 71,344 participants which compared statins with placebo or no statins.

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The USPSTF recommends that adults aged 40 to 75 years without CVD history who have 1 or more CVD risk factors (dyslipidemia, diabetes, hypertension, or smoking) and a calculated 10-year CVD risk of 10% or more, should initiate low- to moderate-dose statins (B recommendation). Adults aged 40 to 75 years without a history of CVD with 1 or more CVD risk factors who have a calculated 10-year CVD risk of 7.5% to 10% should be selectively offered low- to moderate-dose statins (C recommendation). For adults aged 76 years and older, the current evidence is insufficient to weigh the balance of benefits and harms of initiating statin use (I statement).

“People with no signs, symptoms, or history of cardiovascular disease can still be at risk for having a heart attack or stroke,” Task Force chair Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, PhD, MD, said in a statement. “Fortunately statins can be a very effective way to help some people between 40 and 75 years old to reduce this risk.”

Disclosures: Several authors disclosed financial ties to the medical technology industry.

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  1. Bibbings-Domingo K, Grossman DC, Curry SJ, et al; for the US Preventive Services Task Force. Statin Use for the Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in Adults: US Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement. JAMA. 2016;316(19):1997-2007. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.15450.