Gender differences in cholesterol-lowering medication prescribing in peripheral artery disease

Vasc Med. 2011 Dec;16(6):428-35. doi: 10.1177/1358863X11425879.


Among 320 patients with lower extremity peripheral artery disease (PAD) and low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) levels > 70 mg/dl, we determined whether male sex, higher education, and greater self-efficacy for willingness to request therapy from one's physician were associated with increases in LDL-C-lowering medication and achievement of an LDL-C level < 70 mg/dl at 1-year follow-up. Participants were enrolled in a randomized controlled clinical trial to determine whether a telephone counseling intervention can help PAD patients achieve an LDL-C level < 70 mg/dl, compared to usual care and attention control conditions, respectively. Adjusting for age, race, comorbidities, PAD severity, and other covariates, male sex (odds ratio = 3.33, 95% confidence interval = 1.64 to 6.77, p = 0.001) was associated with a higher likelihood of adding cholesterol-lowering medication during follow-up, but was not associated with achieving an LDL-C < 70 mg/dl (odds ratio = 1.09, 95% confidence interval = 0.55 to 2.18). No associations of education level or self-efficacy with study outcomes were identified. In conclusion, male PAD patients with baseline LDL-C levels ≥ 70 mg/dl were more likely to intensify LDL-C-lowering medication during 1-year follow-up than female PAD patients. Despite greater increases in LDL-C-lowering medication among female PAD patients, there was no difference in the degree of LDL-C lowering during the study between men and women with PAD.

Trial registration: NCT00217919.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Comorbidity
  • Directive Counseling
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Hypercholesterolemia / complications
  • Hypercholesterolemia / drug therapy*
  • Intermittent Claudication / drug therapy*
  • Intermittent Claudication / epidemiology
  • Intermittent Claudication / etiology
  • Leg / blood supply
  • Male
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease / complications
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease / drug therapy*
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease / epidemiology
  • Sex Factors
  • Telephone


  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors

Associated data