Objective: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death for women in the United States and is largely preventable. The American Heart Association has recently released evidence-based guidelines for the prevention of CVD in women; these include gender-specific recommendations for the management of dyslipidemia. This article reviews these recommendations and the evidence supporting them.
Design: This was a qualitative review of a systematic literature search related to lipid guidelines for women and discussion of rationale and evidence for new clinical recommendations.
Main Results: Lifestyle modifications are the cornerstone of lipid management. Substantial evidence from randomized clinical trials supports the use of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol–lowering therapy (primarily statins) in all high-risk women and the use of niacin or fibrates when high-density lipoprotein cholesterol is low or non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol is elevated. Fewer data are available for women at lower or intermediate risk.
Conclusions: Encouragement of lifestyle modification and appropriate use of lipid-altering therapy will have a substantial impact on reducing the burden of cardiovascular disease in women.