hsCRP and HDL effects of statins trial (CHEST): rapid effect of statin therapy on C-reactive protein and high-density lipoprotein levels A clinical investigation

Heart Dis. Jan-Feb 2003;5(1):2-7. doi: 10.1097/01.HDX.0000050407.62572.DE.


Inflammation contributes to the pathogenesis of coronary heart disease and elevated serum levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) are independently associated with increased coronary risk. This study assessed whether there were differences in the effects on CRP and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels among patients treated with three common statins. In a prospective, observational study, 80 dyslipidemic adults without evidence of cardiovascular disease were treated with 10 mg atorvastatin (A), 20 mg simvastatin (S), or 40 mg pravastatin (P) daily. CRP and lipid profiles were assayed before and after 12 weeks of therapy; in 21 patients, CRP levels were also measured after 1 and 4 weeks. The three treatment groups experienced comparable reductions in CRP (A: 33%, S: 42%, and P: 30%) and statistically insignificant changes in HDL cholesterol levels. CRP began to decrease after 1 week of treatment, and decreased further at 4 and 12 weeks of therapy. The change in the log-transformed CRP concentration correlated with the change in the log-transformed LDL cholesterol concentration. Subjects had similar baseline CRP levels, lipid profiles, and coronary risk factors. The authors conclude that at doses achieving similar reductions in LDL cholesterol, the three statins were associated with comparable decreases in CRP without significant changes in HDL cholesterol levels. The correlation between the reductions in CRP and LDL cholesterol differs from the findings of other published studies, and should prompt further investigation of the mechanism by which statins reduce CRP.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anticholesteremic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Atorvastatin
  • C-Reactive Protein / drug effects*
  • Cholesterol, HDL / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Heptanoic Acids / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Hyperlipidemias / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pravastatin / therapeutic use
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pyrroles / therapeutic use
  • Simvastatin / therapeutic use
  • Time Factors


  • Anticholesteremic Agents
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Heptanoic Acids
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Pyrroles
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Atorvastatin
  • Simvastatin
  • Pravastatin