(HealthDay News) – Statin therapy is equally effective for decreasing cardiovascular events in women and men, according to a meta-analysis published in the Feb. 7 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

To evaluate the effect of statins in decreasing cardiovascular events in men and women, William J. Kostis, PhD, MD, from Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues reviewed data from 18 randomized clinical trials of statins with sex-specific outcomes. The studies involved 141,235 participants, including 40,275 women, with a total of 21,468 cardiovascular events.

The investigators found that the cardiovascular event rate was significantly lower for participants randomized to statin intervention versus those randomized to control (low-dose statin, placebo, or usual care), with similar rates for women (odds ratio [OR], 0.81; 95% CI, 0.75–0.89) and men (OR, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.71–0.83). Irrespective of the type of control, baseline risk, or type of end point, and in both primary and secondary prevention, the benefit of statins was statistically significant in women and men. For both women and men, all-cause mortality was lower with statin therapy without significant interaction by sex (P for interaction = 0.4457).

“Statins decrease cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality in both women and men. The effect on cardiovascular events is present in both primary and secondary prevention trials. Therefore, statin therapy should be used in appropriate patients without regard to sex,” the authors write.

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