Response to drug administration is a primary determinant for treatment success.
Sex and gender disparities play a role in determining the efficacy and safety of the most
commonly used medications suggesting the need for a sex-tailored approach in prescription.
Statins are a cost-effective strategy for cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention. While statins
are similarly effective in secondary CVD prevention, some concerns raised by conflicting
data reported in primary CVD prevention clinical trials. The small representation of women in
clinical trials and the fewer rates of events due to the lower female baseline CVD risk may
have conditioned contradictory meta-analysis findings. Specifically, benefits outweigh disadvantages
of statin therapy in women with a high CVD risk, while several doubts exist for the
primary prevention of women at low-intermediate CVD risk. Furthermore, disparities between
women and men in medication adherence may influence statin efficacy in CVD prevention.
The sex-dependent impact of adverse side effects is one of the reasons advocated for explaining
the gender gap, but it is not evidence-proved.
The present review summarizes the sex and gender differences in the use of statins, pointing
out new perspectives and opening issues in sex-tailored CVD prevention strategy.
Keywords: Statin, cardiovascular disease, prevention, medication adherence, sex, gender.
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