Statins appear associated with reduced risk of recurrent cardiovascular events in men, women

June 25, 2012

Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs appear to be associated with reduced risk of recurrent cardiovascular events in men and women, but do not appear to be associated with reduced all-cause mortality or stroke in women, according to a report of a meta-analysis published June 25 in the Archives of Internal Medicine, a JAMA Network publication.

Statins have been used to levels for the last 20 years, but most of the clinical trials on the drugs have predominantly enrolled men. There have been conflicting results on the benefits of statins for women with cardiovascular disease compared with men in secondary cardiovascular disease prevention, according to the study background.

Jose Gutierrez, M.D., M.P.H., of Columbia University Medical Center, New York, and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis of 11 clinical trials (a total of 43,191 participants) to examine whether statin therapy was more effective than placebo in preventing recurrence of cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality in men and women. Researchers also sought to determine the sex-specific effect of statins on the risk of recurrent cardiac and cerebrovascular events.

"In our results, statin therapy reduced the recurrence rate of any type of cardiovascular event, all-cause mortality, coronary death, any MI [ or heart attack], cardiac intervention, and any stroke type. The stratification by sex showed no statistically significant risk reduction for women taking statins compared with women taking placebo for the reduction of all-cause mortality and any type of stroke," the authors comment.

However, the authors observe that the results of their meta-analysis "underscore" the low rate of women being enrolled in cardiovascular prevention clinical trials.

"Women represented only a fifth of the studied sample, limiting the strength of our conclusions. In our results, the benefit associated with statin administration in women did not reach statistical significance compared with placebo in at least two outcomes, all-causes mortality and any stroke type. The reason for this difference is uncertain. One possibility is that the small sample size of women limits the power of the study," the authors note.

The authors conclude "this meta-analysis supports the use of statins in women for the secondary prevention of ."

Explore further: Cholesterol-lowering drugs and the risk of hemorrhagic stroke

More information: Arch Intern Med. 2012;172[12]:909-919

Related Stories

Cholesterol-lowering drugs and the risk of hemorrhagic stroke

December 12, 2007

People taking cholesterol-lowering drugs such as atorvastatin after a stroke may be at an increased risk of hemorrhagic stroke, or bleeding in the brain, a risk not found in patients taking statins who have never had a stroke. ...

Statins shown to lower blood pressure

April 14, 2008

A large, randomized drug trial has shown for the first time that statin drugs result in a modest, but significant, reduction in blood pressure. These effects may contribute to the reduced risk of stroke and cardiovascular ...

Recommended for you

Amyloid-related heart failure now detectable with imaging test

August 24, 2016

A type of heart failure caused by a build-up of amyloid can be accurately diagnosed and prognosticated with an imaging technique, eliminating the need for a biopsy, according to a multicenter study led by researchers at Columbia ...

Biomarkers may help better predict who will have a stroke

August 24, 2016

People with high levels of four biomarkers in the blood may be more likely to develop a stroke than people with low levels of the biomarkers, according to a study published in the August 24, 2016, online issue of Neurology, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.