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Statins in pregnancy

Morton, Suzannaa; Thangaratinam, Shakilaa,b

Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology: December 2013 - Volume 25 - Issue 6 - p 433–440
doi: 10.1097/GCO.0000000000000026
WOMEN'S HEALTH: Edited by Joseph Aquilina

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.

Recent findings 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.

Summary 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.

aWomen's Health Unit, Barts Health NHS Trust

bWomen's Health Research Unit, Barts and the London SMD, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK

Correspondence to Dr Suzanna Morton, Women's Health Unit, Barts Health NHS Trust, London E1 2AB, UK. Tel: +44 20 7882 2525; e-mail:

© 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins