Doubts about the benefits of statin therapy for women have been laid to rest by a meta-analysis from Sydney University showing similar efficacy against cardiovascular events for both genders. The meta-analysis of 27 trials published in The Lancet found statin treatment reduced the risk of a major vascular event by 21% for each 1 mmol/L reduction in LDL cholesterol.
The percentage risk reductions were similar in women and men, irrespective of any history of cardiovascular disease. This translated into a significant reduction (9% risk reduction for each 1 mmol/L reduction in LDL-cholesterol) in the overall risk of death in both men and women – a finding for women which has not been previously reported by any individual statin trial.
“There has been a recent worldwide shift towards recommending treatment with statins to people without existing cardiovascular disease but with a sufficiently high risk of future disease. The results of this study will reassure doctors that these risk-based guidelines for treatment can be applied to men and women equally,” lead author Professor Anthony Keech said.