Cardiovascular mortality decreases linearly as total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) decreases. The guidelines for cholesterol management are constantly changing, with lower and lower goals for LDL and total cholesterol. Many physicians are now trying to lower the LDL's of all of their patients with diabetes or coronary artery disease (CAD) to below 70. However, according to the guidelines, 70 is the goal only for those with CAD + multiple risk factors, or those with an acute coronary syndrome.
The following article on Fox News suggests that the President's physicians are aggressively lowering his cholesterol: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,141528,00.html.
Going beyond the established guidelines will further decrease a person's risk of CAD and cardiovascular mortality, but by only a small amount:
“Let’s say a person’s 10-year risk of heart attack is 5 percent, the statins would reduce that risk to just under 4 percent. So a person would have a maybe one in 100 chance of having a benefit from taking that statin,” says Sacks. “A lot of people would say forget it. Some people would say, ‘Well what do I have to lose?’”
Sacks says the fact is that many doctors will take a statin themselves even if they are very healthy because they believe the drugs are safe and have a low risk of side effects.
Personally, if my LDL was above 100 I would take a Statin, even though with my minimal risk factors a Statin would not be officially indicated until my LDL reached 160.