Women, lipids, and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease: a call to action from the European Atherosclerosis Society

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Roeters Van Lennep J. E., Tokgözoǧlu L. S., Badimon L., Dumanski S. M., Gulati M., Hess C. N., ...More

European Heart Journal, vol.44, no.39, pp.4157-4173, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 44 Issue: 39
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehad472
  • Journal Name: European Heart Journal
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.4157-4173
  • Keywords: Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, Cholesterol, Lipids, Lipoprotein(a), Sex-specific risk, Triglycerides, Women
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in women and men globally, with most due to atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). Despite progress during the last 30 years, ASCVD mortality is now increasing, with the fastest relative increase in middle-aged women. Missed or delayed diagnosis and undertreatment do not fully explain this burden of disease. Sex-specific factors, such as hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, premature menopause (especially primary ovarian insufficiency), and polycystic ovary syndrome are also relevant, with good evidence that these are associated with greater cardiovascular risk. This position statement from the European Atherosclerosis Society focuses on these factors, as well as sex-specific effects on lipids, including lipoprotein(a), over the life course in women which impact ASCVD risk. Women are also disproportionately impacted (in relative terms) by diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and auto-immune inflammatory disease. All these effects are compounded by sociocultural components related to gender. This panel stresses the need to identify and treat modifiable cardiovascular risk factors earlier in women, especially for those at risk due to sex-specific conditions, to reduce the unacceptably high burden of ASCVD in women.