Do statins have additional health benefits? The main mechanism of a heart attack is a tear in the lining of the artery where there is a narrowing of the artery due to an underlying accumulation of cholesterol. The likelihood of a tear in the lining of the artery is higher if there is underlying inflammation of the lining. Statins have anti-inflammatory properties and are able to stabilise the lining of arteries, thereby reducing the likelihood of a heart attack. Research has also shown that statins can potentially reduce the likelihood of some cancers and progression of kidney disease.