Lipids in Women: Management in Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Special Subgroups

  • Tina VargheseEmail author
  • Gina Lundberg
Lipids (E Michos, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Lipids


Purpose of Review

As the adverse impact of cardiovascular disease continues to afflict women around the world, the identification and treatment of risk factors to reduce cardiovascular morbidity and mortality continue to rise in priority. Dyslipidemia is a significant risk factor for coronary heart disease and should serve as a strong focus point in both primary and secondary prevention. However, women remain undertreated compared with men and receive less evidence-based therapies including cholesterol management. Some of the unique risk factors in women that contribute to cardiovascular disease have been incorporated in the current cholesterol management guidelines.

Recent Findings

The medical community and international organizations have helped reduce the annual cardiovascular mortality rates for women since 1984. However, more work remains to be completed as heart disease in women remains inadequately researched, underdiagnosed, and poorly managed. This review discusses contemporary management of dyslipidemia in women, with additional focus on special risk subgroups and integration of the new 2018 American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology Guidelines on the Management of Blood Cholesterol.


Dyslipidemia management in women constitutes a substantial portion of the foundation of both primary and secondary prevention and is essential to reducing cardiovascular events in women. The current cholesterol guidelines focus on some of the risk factors for cardiovascular disease that are unique or more common in women. This is a review of how the current cholesterol management guidelines pertain to women specifically and address sex-specific cardiovascular risk factors in women.


Lipid Cholesterol Women Sex differences Primary prevention Secondary prevention 



American College of Cardiology


American Heart Association


Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease


Coronary heart disease




Cardiovascular disease


Familial hypercholesterolemia


High-density lipoprotein cholesterol


Human immunodeficiency virus


Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol




Metabolic syndrome


Myocardial infarction


Non-high-density lipoprotein


Physical activity guidelines


Rheumatoid arthritis


Systemic lupus erythematosus




Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of CardiologyEmory University School of MedicineAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Emory Women’s Heart CenterAtlantaUSA

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