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      Rosuvastatin to Prevent Vascular Events in Men and Women with Elevated C-Reactive Protein

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          Abstract

          Increased levels of the inflammatory biomarker high-sensitivity C-reactive protein predict cardiovascular events. Since statins lower levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein as well as cholesterol, we hypothesized that people with elevated high-sensitivity C-reactive protein levels but without hyperlipidemia might benefit from statin treatment. We randomly assigned 17,802 apparently healthy men and women with low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels of less than 130 mg per deciliter (3.4 mmol per liter) and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein levels of 2.0 mg per liter or higher to rosuvastatin, 20 mg daily, or placebo and followed them for the occurrence of the combined primary end point of myocardial infarction, stroke, arterial revascularization, hospitalization for unstable angina, or death from cardiovascular causes. The trial was stopped after a median follow-up of 1.9 years (maximum, 5.0). Rosuvastatin reduced LDL cholesterol levels by 50% and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein levels by 37%. The rates of the primary end point were 0.77 and 1.36 per 100 person-years of follow-up in the rosuvastatin and placebo groups, respectively (hazard ratio for rosuvastatin, 0.56; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.46 to 0.69; P<0.00001), with corresponding rates of 0.17 and 0.37 for myocardial infarction (hazard ratio, 0.46; 95% CI, 0.30 to 0.70; P=0.0002), 0.18 and 0.34 for stroke (hazard ratio, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.34 to 0.79; P=0.002), 0.41 and 0.77 for revascularization or unstable angina (hazard ratio, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.40 to 0.70; P<0.00001), 0.45 and 0.85 for the combined end point of myocardial infarction, stroke, or death from cardiovascular causes (hazard ratio, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.40 to 0.69; P<0.00001), and 1.00 and 1.25 for death from any cause (hazard ratio, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.67 to 0.97; P=0.02). Consistent effects were observed in all subgroups evaluated. The rosuvastatin group did not have a significant increase in myopathy or cancer but did have a higher incidence of physician-reported diabetes. In this trial of apparently healthy persons without hyperlipidemia but with elevated high-sensitivity C-reactive protein levels, rosuvastatin significantly reduced the incidence of major cardiovascular events. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00239681.) 2008 Massachusetts Medical Society

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          Most cited references 28

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          Diagnosis and management of the metabolic syndrome: an American Heart Association/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Scientific Statement.

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            Efficacy and safety of cholesterol-lowering treatment: prospective meta-analysis of data from 90,056 participants in 14 randomised trials of statins.

            Results of previous randomised trials have shown that interventions that lower LDL cholesterol concentrations can significantly reduce the incidence of coronary heart disease (CHD) and other major vascular events in a wide range of individuals. But each separate trial has limited power to assess particular outcomes or particular categories of participant. A prospective meta-analysis of data from 90,056 individuals in 14 randomised trials of statins was done. Weighted estimates were obtained of effects on different clinical outcomes per 1.0 mmol/L reduction in LDL cholesterol. During a mean of 5 years, there were 8186 deaths, 14,348 individuals had major vascular events, and 5103 developed cancer. Mean LDL cholesterol differences at 1 year ranged from 0.35 mmol/L to 1.77 mmol/L (mean 1.09) in these trials. There was a 12% proportional reduction in all-cause mortality per mmol/L reduction in LDL cholesterol (rate ratio [RR] 0.88, 95% CI 0.84-0.91; p<0.0001). This reflected a 19% reduction in coronary mortality (0.81, 0.76-0.85; p<0.0001), and non-significant reductions in non-coronary vascular mortality (0.93, 0.83-1.03; p=0.2) and non-vascular mortality (0.95, 0.90-1.01; p=0.1). There were corresponding reductions in myocardial infarction or coronary death (0.77, 0.74-0.80; p<0.0001), in the need for coronary revascularisation (0.76, 0.73-0.80; p<0.0001), in fatal or non-fatal stroke (0.83, 0.78-0.88; p<0.0001), and, combining these, of 21% in any such major vascular event (0.79, 0.77-0.81; p<0.0001). The proportional reduction in major vascular events differed significantly (p<0.0001) according to the absolute reduction in LDL cholesterol achieved, but not otherwise. These benefits were significant within the first year, but were greater in subsequent years. Taking all years together, the overall reduction of about one fifth per mmol/L LDL cholesterol reduction translated into 48 (95% CI 39-57) fewer participants having major vascular events per 1000 among those with pre-existing CHD at baseline, compared with 25 (19-31) per 1000 among participants with no such history. There was no evidence that statins increased the incidence of cancer overall (1.00, 0.95-1.06; p=0.9) or at any particular site. Statin therapy can safely reduce the 5-year incidence of major coronary events, coronary revascularisation, and stroke by about one fifth per mmol/L reduction in LDL cholesterol, largely irrespective of the initial lipid profile or other presenting characteristics. The absolute benefit relates chiefly to an individual's absolute risk of such events and to the absolute reduction in LDL cholesterol achieved. These findings reinforce the need to consider prolonged statin treatment with substantial LDL cholesterol reductions in all patients at high risk of any type of major vascular event.
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              C-reactive protein and other markers of inflammation in the prediction of cardiovascular disease in women.

              Since inflammation is believed to have a role in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular events, measurement of markers of inflammation has been proposed as a method to improve the prediction of the risk of these events. We conducted a prospective, nested case-control study among 28,263 apparently healthy postmenopausal women over a mean follow-up period of three years to assess the risk of cardiovascular events associated with base-line levels of markers of inflammation. The markers included high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), serum amyloid A, interleukin-6, and soluble intercellular adhesion molecule type 1 (sICAM-1). We also studied homocysteine and a variety of lipid and lipoprotein measurements. Cardiovascular events were defined as death from coronary heart disease, nonfatal myocardial infarction or stroke, or the need for coronary-revascularization procedures. Of the 12 markers measured, hs-CRP was the strongest univariate predictor of the risk of cardiovascular events; the relative risk of events for women in the highest as compared with the lowest quartile for this marker was 4.4 (95 percent confidence interval, 2.2 to 8.9). Other markers significantly associated with the risk of cardiovascular events were serum amyloid A (relative risk for the highest as compared with the lowest quartile, 3.0), sICAM-1 (2.6), interleukin-6 (2.2), homocysteine (2.0), total cholesterol (2.4), LDL cholesterol (2.4), apolipoprotein B-100 (3.4), HDL cholesterol (0.3), and the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol (3.4). Prediction models that incorporated markers of inflammation in addition to lipids were significantly better at predicting risk than models based on lipid levels alone (P<0.001). The levels of hs-CRP and serum amyloid A were significant predictors of risk even in the subgroup of women with LDL cholesterol levels below 130 mg per deciliter (3.4 mmol per liter), the target for primary prevention established by the National Cholesterol Education Program. In multivariate analyses, the only plasma markers that independently predicted risk were hs-CRP (relative risk for the highest as compared with the lowest quartile, 1.5; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.1 to 2.1) and the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol (relative risk, 1.4; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.1 to 1.9). The addition of the measurement of C-reactive protein to screening based on lipid levels may provide an improved method of identifying persons at risk for cardiovascular events.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                New England Journal of Medicine
                N Engl J Med
                Massachusetts Medical Society
                0028-4793
                1533-4406
                November 20 2008
                November 20 2008
                : 359
                : 21
                : 2195-2207
                Article
                10.1056/NEJMoa0807646
                18997196
                © 2008
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