Influence of age, gender, and race on the efficacy of adding ezetimibe to atorvastatin vs. atorvastatin up-titration in patients at moderately high or high risk for coronary heart disease

Int J Cardiol. 2011 Dec 1;153(2):141-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2010.08.043. Epub 2010 Sep 15.


Background: Age, gender, and race are factors that influence atherosclerotic coronary heart disease (CHD) risk and may conceivably affect the efficacy of lipid-altering drugs.

Methods: Post hoc analysis of two multicenter, 6-week, double-blind, randomized, parallel-group trials assessed age (<65 and ≥ 65 years), gender, and race (white, black, and other) effects on atorvastatin plus ezetimibe versus up-titration of atorvastatin in hypercholesterolemic patients with CHD risk. High CHD risk subjects with low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels ≥ 70 mg/dL (~1.81 mmol/L) during stable atorvastatin 40 mg therapy were randomized to atorvastatin 40 mg plus ezetimibe 10mg, or up-titrated to atorvastatin 80 mg. Moderately high CHD risk subjects with LDL cholesterol levels ≥ 100 mg/dL (~2.59 mmol/L) with atorvastatin 20mg were randomized to atorvastatin 20mg plus ezetimibe 10mg, or atorvastatin 40 mg.

Results: Although some variability existed, age, gender, and race subgroups did not substantially differ from the entire patient population with regard to lipid-altering findings. Ezetimibe plus atorvastatin produced greater percent reductions in LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, triglycerides, non-high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, and apolipoprotein B than up-titration of atorvastatin for all subgroups. HDL cholesterol and apolipoprotein AI changes were small and variable.

Conclusion: Treatment efficacy in age, gender, and race subgroups did not substantially differ from the entire study population. Ezetimibe combined with atorvastatin generally produced greater incremental reductions in LDL cholesterol and several other key lipid parameters compared with doubling the atorvastatin dose in hypercholesterolemic patients with high or moderately high CHD risk. These results suggest that co-administration of ezetimibe with statins is a useful therapeutic option for treatment of dyslipidemia in differing patient populations.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Atorvastatin
  • Azetidines / administration & dosage*
  • Continental Population Groups / ethnology*
  • Coronary Disease / blood
  • Coronary Disease / drug therapy*
  • Coronary Disease / ethnology*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Ezetimibe
  • Female
  • Heptanoic Acids / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Hypercholesterolemia / blood
  • Hypercholesterolemia / drug therapy*
  • Hypercholesterolemia / ethnology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pyrroles / administration & dosage*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Azetidines
  • Heptanoic Acids
  • Pyrroles
  • Atorvastatin
  • Ezetimibe