Gender differences and hypercholesterolemia: real-world evidence from the study WECARE (Women Effective CArdiovascular Risk Evaluation)


  • Valentina Perrone CliCon S.r.l. Società Benefit, Health, Economics & Outcomes Research, Bologna - Italy
  • Gerardo Medea Agenzia di Tutela della Salute di Brescia - Italy
  • Stefano Urbinati Ospedale Bellaria, Bologna - Italy
  • Diego Sangiorgi CliCon S.r.l. Società Benefit, Health, Economics & Outcomes Research, Bologna - Italy
  • Luca Degli Esposti CliCon S.r.l. Società Benefit, Health, Economics & Outcomes Research, Bologna - Italy



Cardiovascular risk, Healthcare costs, LDL-cholesterol, Lipid-lowering therapy, Therapeutic adherence


Introduction: The therapeutic control of LDL-cholesterol is essential in cardiovascular prevention, as recommended by the recent guidelines.

Objective: To evaluate gender differences in terms of demographic and clinical characteristics, treatment pattern, treatment adherence and healthcare costs in patients on lipid-lowering therapy, stratified by cardiovascular risk in the Italian real clinical practice.

Methods: An observational analysis was conducted on the administrative databases of healthcare institutions, covering about 6.1 million health-assisted subjects. After inclusion of all patients on lipid-lowering therapy between January 2017 and June 2020, the population was investigated in the period before the first prescription of a lipid-lowering drug and followed-up for at least 12 months. Clinical and demographic variables were compared after stratification by gender and by cardiovascular risk (very high/high/other risk). The main outcome measures were treatment adherence and direct healthcare costs during follow-up.

Results: Of the 684,829 patients with high/very high cardiovascular risk, 337,394 were men and 347,435 women, aged on average 69.3 years and 72.1 years, respectively (p < 0.001). Men were characterised by a worse comorbidity profile. Regardless of cardiovascular risk, female subjects were associated with larger utilisation of low-potency statins and lower adherence (p < 0.001). The annual healthcare costs per patient during follow-up were higher in men than in women (p < 0.001).

Conclusions: The results highlighted larger utilisation of low-potency statins, a lower adherence and a milder comorbidity profile in women, the latter feasibly explaining the reduced healthcare costs compared to men.


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How to Cite

Perrone, V., Medea, G., Urbinati, S., Sangiorgi, D., & Degli Esposti, L. (2024). Gender differences and hypercholesterolemia: real-world evidence from the study WECARE (Women Effective CArdiovascular Risk Evaluation). Global and Regional Health Technology Assessment, 11(1), 138–147.



Original Research Articles


Received 2023-11-21
Accepted 2024-04-08
Published 2024-06-11