A study of more than 170,000 heart attack patients (most of whom had never taken a cholesterol-lowering statin drug) found that those given a statin, such as atorvastatin (Lipitor), within 24 hours after a heart attack had a 54% lower risk of dying in the hospital than patients not given the statin therapy.

Theory: Statins increase levels of nitric oxide, which reduces inflammation and provides other cardiovascular benefits.

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