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J Am Coll Cardiol. 2012 Feb 7;59(6):572-82. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2011.09.067.

Meta-analysis of statin effects in women versus men.

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Cardiology Division, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 55 Fruit Street, Boston, MA 02114, USA.

Erratum in

  • J Am Coll Cardiol. 2012 Apr 17;59(16):1491.



The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of statins in decreasing cardiovascular events in women and men.


Published data reviews have suggested that statins might not be as effective in women as in men in decreasing cardiovascular events.


Published data searches and contacts with investigators identified 18 randomized clinical trials of statins with sex-specific outcomes (N = 141,235, 40,275 women, 21,468 cardiovascular events). Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for cardiovascular events were calculated for women and men separately with random effects meta-analyses.


The cardiovascular event rate was lower among those randomized to statin intervention than in those randomized to control (low-dose statin in 4 studies, placebo in 11 studies, usual care in 3 studies) and similar in women and men (OR: 0.81, 95% CI: 0.75 to 0.89; p < 0.0001, and OR: 0.77, 95% CI: 0.71 to 0.83, p < 0.0001, respectively). The benefit of statins was statistically significant in both sexes, regardless of the type of control, baseline risk, or type of endpoint and in both primary and secondary prevention. All-cause mortality was also lower with statin therapy both in women and men without significant interaction by sex (p for interaction = 0.4457).


Statin therapy is associated with significant decreases in cardiovascular events and in all-cause mortality in women and men. Statin therapy should be used in appropriate patients without regard to sex.

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