Reducing Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Women beyond Statin Therapy: New Insights 2020

Lori Mosca, Ann Marie Navar, Nanette Kass Wenger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Management of residual and persistent cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk among statin-treated individuals has emerged as an important preventive strategy. The purpose of this article is to review the unique landscape of CVD in women and relevant prior prevention trials, and to discuss how the recent results of the Reduction of Cardiovascular Events with Icosapent Ethyl-Intervention Trial (REDUCE-IT) might apply to the contemporary management of CVD risk among statin-treated women. Women have unique risk factors that may impact CVD and its prevention. Historically, women have been underrepresented in CVD trials, posing a challenge to development of clinical recommendations for women. Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol-targeting treatments have demonstrated CVD risk reduction, with comparable effects in both sexes. In contrast, triglyceride-lowering treatments (niacin, fenofibrate, and omega-3 fatty acids) have reported mixed findings for CVD risk reduction. Recent clinical trials of combination omega-3 fatty acids (docosahexaenoic acid/eicosapentaenoic acid [EPA]) have not found significant CVD risk reduction. The recently published REDUCE-IT study found that icosapent ethyl, an EPA-only omega-3 fatty acid, in combination with statins, significantly reduced CVD events in high-risk patients. The icosapent ethyl group had a significantly lower occurrence of the primary composite CVD endpoint (17.2%) than the placebo group (22.0%; hazard ratio 0.75; 95% confidence interval 0.68-0.83; p < 0.001). CVD risk reduction with icosapent ethyl treatment was comparable between women and men (p for interaction, 0.33). Data from REDUCE-IT suggest women benefit similarly to men with respect to icosapent ethyl, a novel therapy for prevention of CVD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1091-1100
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Women's Health
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • cardiovascular disease
  • eicosapentaenoic acid
  • icosapent ethyl
  • sex differences
  • women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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