Statin therapy for primary prevention in women: What is the role for coronary artery calcium?

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


By current guidelines, statin treatment decisions depend on multiple risk factor algorithms (e.g., pooled cohort equations [PCEs]). By available PCEs most older middle-aged women are statin eligible. But several studies cast doubt on reliability of available PCEs for ASCVD risk assessment. An alternative method for risk assessment is a coronary artery calcium (CAC) score. Many older women have zero CAC, which equates to low risk for ASCVD; these women can delay statin therapy for several years before re-scanning. When CAC is 1-99 Agatston units, risk is only borderline high and statin delay also is an option until re-scanning. When CAC is > 100 Agatston units, risk is high enough to warrant a statin. In most women, CAC is the best guide to treatment decisions. In high-risk women (e.g., diabetes and severe hypercholesterolemia), generally are indicated, but CAC can assist in risk assessment, but other risk factors also can aid in treatment decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Clinical Lipidology
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Coronary artery calcium score
  • Statins
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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