Gender Bias Of Statins

Statins are cholesterol lowering drugs (i.e., Lipitor, Crestor, Zocor). Millions of people take them and they account for about 10% of drug spend.

There is now some discussion of whether they work equally in men and women. I guess genomics would make you believe that it’s unlikely, but I’ve never heard anything about this discussion before the recent article in Time Magazine.

I don’t have the time to read all the research in depth and there appears to still be some debate so let me simply pull a few interesting things from the story:

* There is little evidence that statins prevent heart disease in women.
* There is evidence that women are more likely to experience the serious side effects of statins than men are. Those include memory loss, muscle pain, and diabetes.
* The data suggests that statins can reduce heart-related deaths but not deaths overall.
* For females to prevent one event (e.g., heart attack), 36 women would have to take Crestor for five years (from Jupiter study).

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