The aim – to review data regarding primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) according to the 2012 European Guidelines, where groups of very high, high, moderate and low risk were highlighted. Recent updates on primary and secondary prevention of CVD, particularly recent European Guidelines and last randomized controlled trials in this field were analyzed. The place of statins in primary and secondary prevention of CVD in patients with cerebrovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, arterial hypertension, in patients after interventional procedures, and in patients with acute coronary syndrome with ST segment elevation was described. Statins play a crucial role in primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Recent updates based on randomized controlled trials describe various settings when statins should be used.