Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs are just as effective in reducing the risk of heart disease and death in women as in men, new research shows.
The study, published online in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, found the class of drugs – including Lovastin, Crestor and Lipitor - reduces heart attack risk by about 20 percent.
Previous research has suggested statins are more effective in men than women.
Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital who led the study reviewed 18 clinical trials involving more than 140,000 patients and found fewer heart problems and deaths among those taking statins, regardless of sex.
“Statin therapy is associated with significant decreases in cardiovascular events and in all-cause mortality in women and men,” they wrote. “Statin therapy should be used in appropriate patients without regard to sex.”
Heart disease is the leading cause of death among American men and women. Statins lower so-called “bad” cholesterol levels, which at high levels raise the risk of heart attack and stroke.