Statins are typically prescribed for lowering cholesterol. They are quite controversial both in medical community and general public. Personally for me it has not been an issue so far. However, I have read a lot about heart disease as it is a big concern for Diabetics.
If somebody has already had a heart attack(technical term is myocardial infarction) before, Statins may be a way to prevent future occurrence. But for remaining population who have no precedence of heart attack, value of Statin use is highly suspect. Also long term Statin use can cause diabetes and muscle weakness. Diabetes again is a big risk factor for adverse heart events.
Human body itself makes about 1000 mg cholesterol every day. This is sufficient so no dietary intake is needed. However up to 15% of dietary intake can get into the blood. If dietary intake (such as eggs, …) is high then body self adjusts and effectively marginal increase in blood cholesterol is less.
So when some experts on Internet say not to worry about dietary intake of cholesterol, it is half truth. If you are worried about blood cholesterol level, it makes sense to aim for zero dietary intake as first step.
There is a good risk calculator from American College of Cardiology that makes it easy to calculate 10 year risk of heart attack.
This risk calculator uses your current cholesterol levels, blood pressure reading, and other basic information to come up with a 10 year risk of heart attack.
If your 10 year risk of heart attack is less than 7.5 then you can manage your cholesterol levels using lifestyle intervention. If it is more than 7.5 percent, Statin use might be right for you.
The American College of Cardiology does not take into account artery blockage or plaque. If there is no artery blockage, risk of heart attack is not there. Fortunately it has become easier to determine level of artery blockage using Calcium Score Testing.
Calcium Score testing is a non invasive way of determining level of artery blockage in major arteries close to the heart. It takes few minutes in a donut shape scanning machine to get the results. The radiation exposure is equal to about 25 X-rays. But once in five years seems to be acceptable risk.
There are several good videos on statins on the nutritionfacts.org website.