Angina pectoris resulting from myocardial ischemia afflicts half of all patients with coronary heart disease (CHD). Chronic angina remains a major public health burden despite state-of-the-art therapies, and improvement in survival from myocardial infarction and CHD has only increased its prevalence. There is growing experimental and clinical evidence pointing to the anti-ischemic and anti-anginal properties of statins. Some data suggest that the degree of anti-ischemic efficacy of statins may be comparable to the current standard pharmacologic and mechanical strategies. The pleiotropic effects of statins are postulated to be primarily responsible for their anti-ischemic and anti-anginal properties. These include improvement of endothelial function, enhancement of the ischemic vasodilatory response, modulation of inflammation, and protection from ischemia-reperfusion injury. The anti-ischemic effects of statins further strengthen their role as a crucial component of the optimal medical therapy for CHD.