The aim of this study was to determine the effects of atorvastatin in patients of South Asian versus European origin who participated in the Achieve Cholesterol Targets Fast with Atorvastatin Stratified Titration (ACTFAST) study. ACTFAST was a 12-week prospective, open-label study in patients at high risk for atherosclerosis (European origin, n = 1978; South Asian origin, n = 64). Compared with patients of European origin, patients of South Asian origin were younger, were less likely to smoke, and had lower body mass index, systolic blood pressure, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and triglycerides. Because significant differences were observed in baseline characteristics between patient groups, case control propensity scores were used. In the unmatched analysis, South Asians had greater LDL-C response to atorvastatin than patients of European origin. However, after propensity matching, atorvastatin lowered LDL-C and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) to a similar degree in both groups, with no differences in safety profile. The authors observed no correlation between change in hs-CRP and LDL-C concentrations in either population. In conclusion, atorvastatin lowered both LDL-C and hs-CRP to a similar degree in patients of South Asian or European origin, suggesting usual starting doses of atorvastatin (with appropriate monitoring), rather than lower starting doses as has been advocated by some, may be used in patients of South Asian origin.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00442845.