A category of medications called statins has revolutionized therapy for elevated cholesterol.
Prior to the introduction of the first statin, Mevacor, in the mid-80’s, therapy for elevated cholesterol involved several different medications with limited effectiveness and generally unpleasant side effects. While the statins can certainly have some side effects as well, they are usually well tolerated, particularly if periodic lab tests are conducted. The benefits of lowering cholesterol in preventing heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease are well established.
Recently, even more potential benefits have been associated with the statins. They may offer a protective effect against the development of prostate cancer. In addition, statin therapy has been show to reverse the development of erectile dysfunction in a significant subgroup of men.
Unfortunately, many younger men, seemingly healthy, have never even been evaluated for elevated cholesterol and it’s impossible to know if you have it without a lab test. The sooner the diagnosis is made and treatment initiated, the better.