Harvard Women's Health Watch

Statins and women

What you need to know about these cholesterol-lowering medicines.

If you've been having trouble controlling your cholesterol levels, your doctor may have recommended that you take a statin drug. Statins lower LDL cholesterol—the so-called "unhealthy" or "bad" cholesterol because it helps to form the artery-clogging plaques that can lead to heart disease.

Several studies over the years have touted these drugs' ability to prevent heart attacks, strokes, and heart-related deaths. That could be good news for women, who face a greater risk of dying from heart disease than from any other condition. But women are unique when it comes to matters of the heart, and the advantages of statins for us have not always been as clear as they are in men.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »