Women's Heart Advisor April 2012 Issue

What You Should Know About Statin Use After Menopause

Potential risks do not outweigh known benefits.

Cholesterol-lowering statins are powerful agents for preventing heart attack in men and women with heart disease. Statins also have unrelated benefits, such as lowering the risk for Alzheimer’s disease and age-related decline in lung function. But they can have adverse effects, too. A meta-analysis of five major trials (Archives of Internal Medicine, January 9, 2012) found that statins increased the risk of diabetes in postmenopausal women. The effect was consistent with all statins. So should you stop taking your statin if you are at high risk for heart disease, or have been already been diagnosed? Cleveland Clinic cardiologists say no.

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