Purpose of review
The use of statins in women of reproductive age to prevent adverse cardiovascular events is on the rise. This is attributed to an increase in metabolic risk factors such as obesity, raised lipids, diabetes and high blood pressure. Statins are contraindicated in pregnancy because of the perceived increased risk of congenital abnormalities to the foetus. We evaluated the evidence, including published reviews and primary studies, on the safety of statins in pregnancy and assessed the benefits to the mother.
The risk of major congenital abnormalities from exposure to statins in pregnancy is similar to the background risk of the population. No specific pattern of abnormalities was observed. Existing studies are small with limitations in their quality. Preliminary evidence suggests a beneficial role for statins in preventing preeclampsia.
There is no evidence to demonstrate that use of statins in pregnancy increases the risk of foetal abnormalities. The findings were limited by the poor quality and reporting of existing studies.