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      Clarithromycin for 2 Weeks for Stable Coronary Heart Disease: 6-Year Follow-Up of the CLARICOR Randomized Trial and Updated Meta-Analysis of Antibiotics for Coronary Heart Disease

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          Objectives: We have reported increased 2.6-year mortality in clarithromycin- versus placebo-exposed stable coronary heart disease patients, but meta-analysis of randomized trials in coronary heart disease patients showed no significant effect of antibiotics on mortality. Here we report the 6-year mortality of clarithromycin- versus placebo-exposed patients and updated meta-analyses. Methods: Centrally randomized, placebo controlled multicenter trial. All parties were blinded. Analyses were by intention to treat. Meta-analyses followed the Cochrane Collaboration methodology. Results: We randomized 4,372 patients with stable coronary heart disease to clarithromycin 500 mg (n = 2,172) or placebo (n = 2,200) once daily for 2 weeks. Mortality was followed through public register. Nine hundred and twenty-three patients (21.1%) died. Six-year mortality was significantly higher in the clarithromycin group (hazard ratio 1.21, 95% confidence interval 1.06–1.38). Adjustment for entry characteristics (sex, age, prior myocardial infarction, center, and smoking) did not change the results (1.18, 1.04–1.35). Addition of our data to that of other randomized trials on antibiotics for patients with coronary heart disease versus placebo/no intervention (17 trials, 25,271 patients, 1,877 deaths) showed a significantly increased relative risk of death from antibiotics of 1.10 (1.01–1.20) without heterogeneity. Conclusions: Our results stress the necessity to consider carefully the strength of the indication before administering antibiotics to patients with coronary heart disease.

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          Most cited references 18

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          Problems with use of composite end points in cardiovascular trials: systematic review of randomised controlled trials.

          To explore the extent to which components of composite end points in randomised controlled trials vary in importance to patients, the frequency of events in the more and less important components, and the extent of variability in the relative risk reductions across components. Systematic review of randomised controlled trials. Cardiovascular randomised controlled trials published in the Lancet, Annals of Internal Medicine, Circulation, European Heart Journal, JAMA, and New England Journal of Medicine, from 1 January 2002 to 30 June 2003. Component end points of composite end points were categorised according to importance to patients as fatal, critical, major, moderate, or minor. Of 114 identified randomised controlled trials that included a composite end point of importance to patients, 68% (n=77) reported complete component data for the primary composite end point; almost all (98%; n=112) primary composite end points included a fatal end point. Of 84 composite end points for which component data were available, 54% (n=45) showed large or moderate gradients in both importance to patients and magnitude of effect across components. When analysed by categories of importance to patients, the most important components were associated with lower event rates in the control group (medians of 3.3-3.7% for fatal, critical, and major outcomes; 12.3% for moderate outcomes; and 8.0% for minor outcomes). Components of greater importance to patients were associated with smaller treatment effects than less important ones (relative risk reduction of 8% for death and 33% for components of minor importance to patients). The use of composite end points in cardiovascular trials is frequently complicated by large gradients in importance to patients and in magnitude of the effect of treatment across component end points. Higher event rates and larger treatment effects associated with less important components may result in misleading impressions of the impact of treatment.
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            Azithromycin for the secondary prevention of coronary events.

            Epidemiologic, laboratory, animal, and clinical studies suggest that there is an association between Chlamydia pneumoniae infection and atherogenesis. We evaluated the efficacy of one year of azithromycin treatment for the secondary prevention of coronary events. In this randomized, prospective trial, we assigned 4012 patients with documented stable coronary artery disease to receive either 600 mg of azithromycin or placebo weekly for one year. The participants were followed for a mean of 3.9 years at 28 clinical centers throughout the United States. The primary end point, a composite of death due to coronary heart disease, nonfatal myocardial infarction, coronary revascularization, or hospitalization for unstable angina, occurred in 446 of the participants who had been randomly assigned to receive azithromycin and 449 of those who had been randomly assigned to receive placebo. There was no significant risk reduction in the azithromycin group as compared with the placebo group with regard to the primary end point (risk reduction, 1 percent [95 percent confidence interval, -13 to 13 percent]). There were also no significant risk reductions with regard to any of the components of the primary end point, death from any cause, or stroke. The results did not differ when the participants were stratified according to sex, age, smoking status, presence or absence of diabetes mellitus, or C. pneumoniae serologic status at baseline. A one-year course of weekly azithromycin did not alter the risk of cardiac events among patients with stable coronary artery disease. Copyright 2005 Massachusetts Medical Society.
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              Antibiotic treatment of Chlamydia pneumoniae after acute coronary syndrome.

              Chlamydia pneumoniae has been found within atherosclerotic plaques, and elevated titers of antibody to this organism have been linked to a higher risk of coronary events. Pilot studies have suggested that antibiotic treatment may reduce the risk of cardiovascular events. We enrolled 4162 patients who had been hospitalized for an acute coronary syndrome within the preceding 10 days and evaluated the efficacy of long-term treatment with gatifloxacin, a bactericidal antibiotic known to be effective against C. pneumoniae, in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Subjects received 400 mg of gatifloxacin daily during an initial 2-week course of therapy that began 2 weeks after randomization, followed by a 10-day course every month for the duration of the trial (mean duration, 2 years), or placebo. The primary end point was a composite of death from all causes, myocardial infarction, documented unstable angina requiring rehospitalization, revascularization (performed at least 30 days after randomization), and stroke. A Kaplan-Meier analysis revealed that the rates of primary-end-point events at two years were 23.7 percent in the gatifloxacin group and 25.1 percent in the placebo group (hazard ratio, 0.95; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.84 to 1.08; P=0.41). No benefit was seen in any of the prespecified secondary end points or in any of the prespecified subgroups, including patients with elevated titers to C. pneumoniae or C-reactive protein. Despite long-term treatment with a bactericidal antibiotic effective against C. pneumoniae, no reduction in the rate of cardiovascular events was observed. Copyright 2005 Massachusetts Medical Society.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                October 2008
                02 May 2008
                : 111
                : 4
                : 280-287
                aThe Copenhagen Trial Unit, Center for Clinical Intervention Research, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen University Hospital, bThe Copenhagen Trial Unit, Center for Clinical Intervention Research, Institute of Preventive Medicine, cDepartment of Cardiology, Amager Hospital, Copenhagen University Hospital and dDepartment of Cardiology Y, Bispebjerg Hospital, Copenhagen University Hospital, Copenhagen, eDepartment of Cardiology, Hvidovre Hospital, Copenhagen University Hospital, Hvidovre, fThe Heart Center, Department of Medicine B, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen University Hospital, Copenhagen, gDepartment of Cardiology E, Frederiksberg Hospital, Copenhagen University Hospital, Frederiksberg, hDepartment of Biostatistics, Institute of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, iDepartment of Clinical Microbiology, Odense University Hospital, Odense, jDepartment of Cardiology S, Herlev Hospital, Copenhagen University Hospital, Herlev, and kStatens Serum Institut, Copenhagen, Denmark
                128994 PMC2820332 Cardiology 2008;111:280–287
                © 2008 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: 4, Tables: 1, References: 34, Pages: 8
                Original Research


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