Loss of statin treatment years during pregnancy and breastfeeding periods in women with familial hypercholesterolemia
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionAtherosclerosis. 2021, 335 8-15. 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2021.09.003
Background and aims Women with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) are recommended to initiate statin treatment at the same age as men (from 8 to 10 years of age). However, statins are contraindicated when pregnancy is planned, during pregnancy and breastfeeding. The aim of the study was to determine the duration of pregnancy-related off-statin periods and breastfeeding in FH women. Methods A cross-sectional study using an anonymous online self-administered questionnaire was conducted. Women with FH were recruited through Lipid Clinics in Norway and Netherlands and national FH patient organizations. Results 102 women with FH (n = 70 Norwegian and n = 32 Dutch) were included in the analysis. Total length of pregnancy-related off-statin periods was estimated for 80 women where data were available, and was median (min-max) 2.3 (0–14.2) years. Lost statin treatment time was estimated for 67 women where data were available, and was median (min-max) 18 (0–100)% at mean (SD) age of 31 (4.3) years at last pregnancy. More women breastfed in Norway (83%) and for longer time [8.5 [1-42] months] compared to the Netherlands [63%, p = 0.03; 3.6 (0–14) months, p < 0.001]. Eighty-six percent of the women reported need for more information on pregnancy and breastfeeding in relation to FH. Conclusions Young FH women lose years of treatment when discontinuing statins in relation to pregnancy and breastfeeding periods and should be closely followed up to minimize the duration of these off-statin periods. Whether these periods of interrupted treatment increase the cardiovascular risk in FH women needs to be further elucidated.