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Medical News and Perspectives |

Some Question Use of Statins to Reduce Cardiovascular Risks in Healthy Women

Mike Mitka
JAMA. 2012;307(9):893-894. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.216.
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Clinicians frequently prescribe statin therapy for women to decrease low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease. Statin therapy for secondary prevention for both sexes is widely accepted to reduce the likelihood of another cardiovascular event. But should women without established coronary disease be taking statins?

Current analyses suggest that the answer is yes. The authors of a recently published meta-analysis of 18 trials with 141 235 participants concluded that statin therapy was beneficial in both the primary and secondary prevention settings for both men and women. When the authors assessed primary prevention trials separately, they found that statins reduced all-cause mortality for women (Kostis WJ et al. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2012;59[6]:572-582).

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Debate continues over offering statin therapy to women who do not have heart disease but who do have high levels of cholesterol.

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