Non-lipid-related effects of statins

Ann Med. 2000 Apr;32(3):164-76. doi: 10.3109/07853890008998823.


The beneficial effects of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors (statins) on coronary events have generally been attributed to their hypocholesterolaemic properties. However, as mevalonate and other intermediates of cholesterol synthesis (isoprenoids) are necessary for cell proliferation and other important cell functions, effects other than cholesterol reduction may explain the pharmacological properties of statins. In the present review, we discuss the current knowledge on the nonlipid-related effects of statins, with a special emphasis on their potential benefits in different diseases, such as atherosclerosis and cancer. The mechanism(s) responsible for their favourable properties are also reviewed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arteriosclerosis / drug therapy
  • Blood Coagulation / drug effects
  • Blood Coagulation / physiology
  • Cholesterol / chemistry
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Endothelium, Vascular / drug effects
  • Esterification
  • Fatty Acids, Monounsaturated / pharmacology
  • Fluvastatin
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Indoles / pharmacology
  • Pravastatin / pharmacology
  • Simvastatin / pharmacology


  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Fatty Acids, Monounsaturated
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Indoles
  • Fluvastatin
  • Cholesterol
  • Simvastatin
  • Pravastatin