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      Non-Cardiovascular Mortality, Low-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol and Statins: A Meta-Regression Analysis

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          Abstract

          Background: As of today, the effect of statins on non-cardiovascular mortality is still being debated. Single studies have not been able to provide definite answers. We performed a meta-regression analysis on randomized statin trials in order to provide evidence that non-cardiovascular mortality is related to statin treatment and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol plasma level. Methods: We selected 29 randomized controlled trials of statins versus placebo, a total of 90,480 patients, with a follow-up of >12 months. Baseline and follow-up LDL levels and all-cause, cardiovascular and non-cardiovascular mortality were recorded. Weighted linear regression analysis was carried out separately for placebo and treatment groups. Results: LDL level was inversely related to overall mortality (p = 0.0105) and non-cardiovascular mortality (p = 0.0171) in the treatment group. By contrast, in the placebo group only non-cardiovascular mortality was inversely correlated to LDL (p = 0.0032). The regression lines have similar slopes and run almost parallel to each other, with the treatment line lying below the placebo line. To identify the threshold of risk for starting statin therapy, we analysed the relationship between baseline cardiovascular risk and overall mortality in the two groups. Both correlations are highly significant and regression lines intersect at a risk of 0.29% per year. This implies that the effects of statins are favourable when the baseline cardiovascular risk exceeds approximately 3% in 10 years. Conclusions: A trend of increased non-cardiovascular mortality with decreased LDL exists both in placebo and treatment groups. However, at each given LDL cholesterol level, non-cardiovascular mortality is lower in treated patients. Therefore, statin therapy may improve the biological impact of LDL on non-cardiovascular mortality.

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          Most cited references 29

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          High-dose atorvastatin vs usual-dose simvastatin for secondary prevention after myocardial infarction: the IDEAL study: a randomized controlled trial.

          Evidence suggests that more intensive lowering of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) than is commonly applied clinically will provide further benefit in stable coronary artery disease. To compare the effects of 2 strategies of lipid lowering on the risk of cardiovascular disease among patients with a previous myocardial infarction (MI). The IDEAL study, a prospective, randomized, open-label, blinded end-point evaluation trial conducted at 190 ambulatory cardiology care and specialist practices in northern Europe between March 1999 and March 2005 with a median follow-up of 4.8 years, which enrolled 8888 patients aged 80 years or younger with a history of acute MI. Patients were randomly assigned to receive a high dose of atorvastatin (80 mg/d; n = 4439), or usual-dose simvastatin (20 mg/d; n = 4449). Occurrence of a major coronary event, defined as coronary death, confirmed nonfatal acute MI, or cardiac arrest with resuscitation. During treatment, mean LDL-C levels were 104 (SE, 0.3) mg/dL in the simvastatin group and 81 (SE, 0.3) mg/dL in the atorvastatin group. A major coronary event occurred in 463 simvastatin patients (10.4%) and in 411 atorvastatin patients (9.3%) (hazard ratio [HR], 0.89; 95% CI, 0.78-1.01; P = .07). Nonfatal acute MI occurred in 321 (7.2%) and 267 (6.0%) in the 2 groups (HR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.71-0.98; P = .02), but no differences were seen in the 2 other components of the primary end point. Major cardiovascular events occurred in 608 and 533 in the 2 groups, respectively (HR, 0.87; 95% CI, 0.77-0.98; P = .02). Occurrence of any coronary event was reported in 1059 simvastatin and 898 atorvastatin patients (HR, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.76-0.91; P<.001). Noncardiovascular death occurred in 156 (3.5%) and 143 (3.2%) in the 2 groups (HR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.73-1.15; P = .47). Death from any cause occurred in 374 (8.4%) in the simvastatin group and 366 (8.2%) in the atorvastatin group (HR, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.85-1.13; P = .81). Patients in the atorvastatin group had higher rates of drug discontinuation due to nonserious adverse events; transaminase elevation resulted in 43 (1.0%) vs 5 (0.1%) withdrawals (P<.001). Serious myopathy and rhabdomyolysis were rare in both groups. In this study of patients with previous MI, intensive lowering of LDL-C did not result in a significant reduction in the primary outcome of major coronary events, but did reduce the risk of other composite secondary end points and nonfatal acute MI. There were no differences in cardiovascular or all-cause mortality. Patients with MI may benefit from intensive lowering of LDL-C without an increase in noncardiovascular mortality or other serious adverse reactions.Trial Registration ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00159835.
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            Major Outcomes in Moderately Hypercholesterolemic, Hypertensive Patients Randomized to Pravastatin vs Usual Care: The Antihypertensive and Lipid-Lowering Treatment to Prevent Heart Attack Trial (ALLHAT-LLT)

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              Mortality and incidence of cancer during 10-year follow-up of the Scandinavian Simvastatin Survival Study (4S).

              The effects of cholesterol-lowering treatment with statins on mortality and risk of cancer beyond the usual 5-6-year trial periods are unknown. We extended post-trial follow-up of participants in the Scandinavian Simvastatin Survival Study (4S) to investigate cause-specific mortality and incidence of cancer 5 years after closure of the trial. 4S was a randomised double-blind trial of simvastatin or placebo in patients with coronary heart disease, serum total cholesterol 5.5-8.0 mmol/L, and serum triglycerides 2.5 mmol/L or lower. The double-blind period lasted for a median of 5.4 years (range for survivors 4.9-6.3) and ended in 1994. After the trial, most patients in both groups received open-label lipid-lowering treatment. National registers were used to assess mortality and causes of death and cancer incidence in the original treatment groups for a median total follow-up time of 10.4 years (range for survivors 9.9-11.3). Analysis was by intention to treat. 414 patients originally allocated simvastatin and 468 assigned placebo died during the 10.4-year follow-up (relative risk 0.85 [95% CI 0.74-0.97], p=0.02), a difference largely attributable to lower coronary mortality in the simvastatin group (238 vs 300 deaths; 0.76 [0.64-0.90], p=0.0018). 85 cancer deaths arose in the simvastatin group versus 100 in the placebo group (0.81 [0.60-1.08], p=0.14), and 227 incident cancers were reported in the simvastin group versus 248 in the placebo group (0.88 [0.73-1.05], p=0.15). Incidence of any specific type of cancer did not rise in the simvastatin group. Simvastatin treatment for 5 years in a placebo-controlled trial, followed by open-label statin therapy, was associated with survival benefit over 10 years of follow-up compared with open-label statin therapy for the past 5 years only. No difference was noted in mortality from and incidence of cancer between the original simvastatin group and placebo group.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                CRD
                Cardiology
                10.1159/issn.0008-6312
                Cardiology
                S. Karger AG
                0008-6312
                1421-9751
                2008
                January 2008
                16 August 2007
                : 109
                : 2
                : 110-116
                Affiliations
                Departments of aCardiology and bMedical and Surgical Sciences, University of Padova Medical School, Padova, Italy
                Article
                105551 Cardiology 2008;109:110–116
                10.1159/000105551
                17700016
                © 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel

                Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

                Page count
                Figures: 3, Tables: 1, References: 58, Pages: 7
                Categories
                Original Research

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