Dyslipidemia and Cardiovascular Disease in Women

Lipid Abnormalities and Cardiovascular Prevention (G De Backer, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Lipid Abnormalities and Cardiovascular Prevention


Cardiovascular disease is the major cause of death in women in developed countries. Dyslipidemia is highly prevalent in women, particularly after the menopause. Elevated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) has been identified as the key lipid parameter in both genders whereas HDL-cholesterol and triglycerides have been more closely associated, in some studies, with cardiovascular risk in women. Menopause has been shown to be associated with an increase in total and LDL-cholesterol and a decrease in HDL-cholesterol (predominantly in the HDL2 subfraction). Despite its beneficial effects on the lipid profile, hormone replacement therapy is not recommended for primary or secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease in women. The latest meta-analysis of statin trials with gender-specific outcomes showed a similar benefit in women and men. The addition of ezetimibe to simvastatin in patients with acute coronary syndromes showed a further reduction of the primary endpoint in both genders. While there are no gender-related differences in drug treatment of dyslipidemia, current guidelines, to avoid overtreatment, strongly suggest risk estimation before initiating lipid-lowering treatment in women without manifest cardiovascular disease.


Coronary heart disease Stroke Cardiovascular risk factors Lipid-lowering drugs Oral contraception Menopause 


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Cardiovascular PreventionCharles University in Prague, First Faculty of Medicine and Thomayer HospitalPrague 4Czech Republic

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