Statins are a group of medicines that can help lower the level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in the blood. LDL cholesterol collects on the inside of your artery walls, thereby raising your risk of heart disease. Taking statins can therefore amount to a life-saving intervention for many people at risk of cardiovascular problems.
The outcome that the researchers considered to be the most important was change in the total cholesterol concentration between the beginning and follow up of the study.
They also measured the concentration of LDL cholesterol and other fatty deposits in the blood.
The researchers found that switching taking simvastatin from in the evening to in the morning resulted in “statistically significant” increases in total and LDL cholesterol.
“Simvastatin is probably best taken at night because concentrations of total cholesterol and of low density lipoprotein are significantly greater when it is taken in the morning,” the researchers wrote.
“Others experience some troublesome, but usually minor, side effects, such as diarrhoea, a headache or feeling sick,” notes the NHS.
According to the health body, your doctor should discuss the risks and benefits of taking statins if they’re offered to you.
The risks of any side effects also have to be balanced against the benefits of preventing serious problems.
A review of scientific studies into the effectiveness of statins found around one in every 50 people who take the medicine for five years will avoid a serious event, such as a heart attack or stroke, as a result.