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Lipid-regulating drugs

Effectiveness of statins similar for men and women

A recent study shows that statin therapy reduced lipid levels by a similar extent in both men and women. In the image, the chemical structure of atorvastatin, a drug from the statin drug class

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Statin therapy (image shows molecular structure of atorvastatin) reduces lipid levels by a similar extent in both men and women

The relative efficacy of statins in women versus men is unclear, particularly in primary prevention. To resolve this question, the Cholesterol Treatment Trialists’ Collaboration undertook a meta-analysis of data from 27 statin trials involving 174,149 people, 27% of whom were women.

As reported in The Lancet (online, 9 January 2015)[1], statin therapy reduced lipid levels by a similar extent in both men and women. The incremental reduction in major vascular events with statin therapy was also similar in men and women, including in women at low baseline risk. Likewise, the proportional reductions in major coronary events, coronary revascularisation and stroke did not differ significantly by gender.

The authors conclude: “In men and women at an equivalent risk of cardiovascular disease, statin therapy is of similar effectiveness for the prevention of major vascular events.” 

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2015.20067600

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