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A new study has shown that a significant proportion of women receiving statins as medical treatment have also had their risk of developing heart disease or suffering from a stroke slashed.
The use of statin therapy in women is often debated amongst healthcare and medical experts, especially when used as a primary prevention technique.
A review of over 27 studies featuring 46,000 female participants and 127,000 male participants has found that individuals receiving statins had lower levels of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol – a contributing factor in both heart disease and strokes.
Colin Baigent, who works for the Clinical Trial Service Unit at the University of Oxford reiterated, stating: “Heart attacks and stroke are problems in women just as they are in men. Many women at increased risk of such cardiovascular disease could avoid them by taking a statin.”Peter Weissberg is the medical director at the British Heart Foundation, the organisation which helped to fund the study and stated: “Beyond any reasonable doubt, women gained the same benefits from statins as men. Far too women realise they are at more risk of a heart attack than from breast cancer and this study should reassure them that, if advised by their doctor, they can reduce that risk by taking a statin.”
This recent research resolves the debates that scientists have been having for years about whether statins should be given to women who are just at risk of developing heart disease or suffering from a stroke. Lead investigator for the study, Anthony Keech said: “Women tend to develop cardiovascular disease later in life than do men, so have been under-represented in most statin trials. As a result, the benefits of statin therapy in women have been uncertain, especially in the absence of any previous history of heart disease… [The study] shows beyond any reasonable doubt that women gain the same benefits from statins as men.”