Strong decrease of high sensitivity C-reactive protein with high-dose atorvastatin in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus

Atherosclerosis. 2003 Jan;166(1):129-35. doi: 10.1016/s0021-9150(02)00316-7.


Objective: Statins are known to reduce CRP concentrations, but whether high doses are more effective is not known.

Methods: In a prospective double-blind multicenter study in 186 DM2 patients without manifest coronary artery disease and with dyslipidemia, the effect of a 30-week treatment with 10 and 80 mg atorvastatin or placebo on the reduction of hs-CRP levels was measured.

Results: Median CRP levels increased with 6.6% in the placebo group and were reduced by 15 and 47%, respectively, with atorvastatin 10 and 80 mg (P<0.001; significantly different from 10 mg atorvastatin and from placebo (P<0.001). Variation in IL-6 and plasma lipids associated for 21 and 8%, respectively, with variation in CRP levels (P<0.001 and P=0.01). Of patients with a baseline CRP level above an arbitrary threshold of 3.0 mg/l, 56% in the 80 mg atorvastatin group reached a level of less than 3.0 mg/l, versus 23% randomized to 10 mg atorvastatin (P<0.01) and 17% in the placebo group (P<0.005).

Conclusions: In DM2 patients high dose atorvastatin induced a strong reduction in CRP levels. The decrease in CRP was mainly independent of effects on lipid lowering and changes in IL-6 levels. The pleiotropic effect of high-dose atorvastatin on inflammation could add to its cardioprotective effect in high-risk patients.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Atorvastatin
  • Body Mass Index
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis
  • C-Reactive Protein / drug effects*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Heptanoic Acids / administration & dosage
  • Heptanoic Acids / pharmacology*
  • Heptanoic Acids / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / administration & dosage
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Interleukin-6 / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pyrroles / administration & dosage
  • Pyrroles / pharmacology*
  • Pyrroles / therapeutic use
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Heptanoic Acids
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Interleukin-6
  • Pyrroles
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Atorvastatin