Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS)


Physician Assistant Studies


statin; HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor; atorvastatin; rosuvastatin; fluvastatin; pravastatin; lovastatin; primary prevention; cardiovascular disease; CVD; coronary artery disease; adverse effects


Atherosclerotic plaques can form in the blood vessels from particles of cholesterol. These plaques are a major cause of cardiovascular disease and have the ability to result in fatal cardiovascular events. In researching this topic, PubMed, the Cochrane Library, DynaMed, and ClinicalKey were all utilized in finding articles published from 2002 to 2018. There are several organizations with conflicting guidelines recommending the use of statin medications in the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease. The research evaluated discovers data is inconclusive on the benefit of statin medications in this primary prevention as well as the safety of long-term statin use. Some experts have suggested statins are over-prescribed as it is one of the most commonly prescribed medications in the United States. Statin medications continue to be beneficial in the primary prevention of some select patients, but caution should be applied by providers when prescribing this medication to their patients when referring to conflicting population based guidelines. Providers should identify key risk factors and have conversations with their patients on the risks and benefits of statin medications when they are being utilized for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease.