Background: International guidelines emphasize the need to achieve recommended low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels in order to reduce morbidity and mortality associated with coronary heart disease (CHD). However, many patients with hypercholesterolemia fail to achieve LDL-C goals on treatment.
Objective: The primary objective was to compare the efficacy of rosuvastatin and atorvastatin for enabling patients to achieve National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP ATP III) LDL-C goals. Secondary objectives were European LDL-C goal achievement, changes in the lipid profile, and safety.
Research design and methods: This 12-week, multicenter, multinational, randomized, open-label trial compared the efficacy and safety of rosuvastatin 10 mg with atorvastatin 10 mg in statin-naïve and switched patients with primary hypercholesterolemia from Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Portugal, and Venezuela.
Results: A total of 1124 patients with similar baseline characteristics were randomized to the two treatment groups. After 12 weeks of treatment, a significantly greater percentage of patients receiving rosuvastatin 10 mg compared with atorvastatin 10 mg achieved NCEP ATP III LDL-C goals (71.2% vs 61.4%, p < 0.001), 1998 European LDL-C goals (73.5% vs 59.2%, p < 0.001) and 2003 European LDL-C goals (58.9% vs 44.6%, p < 0.001). Rosuvastatin treatment was associated with significant reductions in LDL-C and total cholesterol (TC) and, in statin-naïve patients, a significant increase in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) compared with atorvastatin treatment. Both treatments were well tolerated with a similar incidence of adverse events. Clinically significant elevations in creatinine, creatine kinase or hepatic transaminases were low and similar between treatment groups.
Conclusions: Rosuvastatin 10 mg is significantly more effective at achieving NCEP ATP III and European LDL-C goals, lowering LDL-C and TC in both naïve and switched patients and increasing HDL-C in naïve patients than atorvastatin 10mg, with a similar safety and tolerability profile. This study also provides evidence regarding the comparative effects of rosuvastatin versus atorvastatin in Latin American and Portuguese populations.