Tablets of Lipitor and its generic equivalent, atorvastatin, are among the drugs commonly prescribed to prevent heart attacks and strokes among people at risk. Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Aspirin can lower the risk of heart attacks, but there's concern that it's being overused. Jim DeLillo/iStockphoto hide caption

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A landmark federal study was halted when early results showed that lowering patients' top blood pressure number to 120 or lower led to dramatic reductions in heart disease and deaths. iStockphoto hide caption

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The latest guidelines for cholesterol-lowering drugs emphasize their use to manage patients' risk for cardiovascular disease rather than simply hitting numerical cholesterol targets. Roy Scott/Ikon Images/Corbis hide caption

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There's a growing body of evidence suggesting that compounds found in cocoa beans, called polyphenols, may help protect against heart disease. Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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For all the good aspirin can do in preventing second heart attacks and strokes, taking it daily can boost some risks, too — of ulcers, for example, and of bleeding in the brain or gut. iStockphoto hide caption

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A daily cup of joe (or two) may help protect against Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. And an egg a day will not raise the risk of heart disease in healthy people, according to a panel of nutrition experts. Premshee Pillai/Flickr hide caption

itoggle caption Premshee Pillai/Flickr