An analysis published in Clinical Therapeutics, 2007; 29(2):253-260, reviews the use of intensive-dose statin therapy, compared to moderate-dose statin therapy, calculating number needed to treat (NNT) to prevent one cardiovascular event to that of number needed to harm (NNH). This was a meta-analysis which reviewed four studies that met criteria. The results show that for every 1000 people treated with intensive-dose therapy there would be a total of 10 heart attacks and 6 strokes prevented, and also four cardiovascular deaths, but would result in an additional thirty-three adverse events (21 requiring discontinuation of the drug). So for every cardiovascular event prevented there would be eight ADEs of any type with five being potentially serious. What this mean is that high-dose/intensive-dose statin therapy should be reserved for those at highest risk, and should be closely monitored, by both the physician and the patient. You can look to other posts on recent FDA guidance recommending lower dose therapy with Zocor (simvastatin). The link to the abstract of this meta-analysis is : http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17472818.