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, 36 (3), 225-33

Association Between Paradoxical HDL Cholesterol Decrease and Risk of Major Adverse Cardiovascular Events in Patients Initiated on Statin Treatment in a Primary Care Setting

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Association Between Paradoxical HDL Cholesterol Decrease and Risk of Major Adverse Cardiovascular Events in Patients Initiated on Statin Treatment in a Primary Care Setting

Pål Hasvold et al. Clin Drug Investig.

Abstract

Background and objectives: Statin-induced changes in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) are unrelated. Many patients initiated on statins experience a paradoxical decrease in HDL-C. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between a decrease in HDL-C and risk of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE).

Methods: Data from 15,357 primary care patients initiated on statins during 2004-2009 were linked with data from mandatory national hospital, drug-dispensing, and cause-of-death registers, and were grouped according to HDL-C change: decreased ≥0.1 mmol/L, unchanged ±0.1 or ≥0.1 mmol/L increased. To evaluate the association between decrease in HDL-C and risk of MACE, a sample of propensity score-matched patients from the decreased and unchanged groups was created, using the latter group as reference. MACE was defined as myocardial infarction, unstable angina pectoris, ischaemic stroke, or cardiovascular mortality. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate relative risks.

Results: HDL-C decreased in 20%, was unchanged in 58%, and increased in 22% of patients initiated on statin treatment (96% treated with simvastatin). The propensity score-matched sample comprised 5950 patients with mean baseline HDL-C and LDL-C of 1.69 and 4.53 mmol/L, respectively. HDL-C decrease was associated with 56% higher MACE risk (hazard ratio 1.56; 95% confidence interval 1.12-2.16; p < 0.01) compared with the unchanged HDL-C group.

Conclusions: Paradoxical statin-induced reduction in HDL-C was relatively common and was associated with increased risk of MACE.

Figures

Fig. 1
Fig. 1
Patient flow. HDL-C high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, LDL-C low-density lipoprotein cholesterol
Fig. 2
Fig. 2
Kaplan-Meier plot of time to first major cardiovascular events for the decreased and unchanged HDL-C propensity score-matched populations. MACE major adverse cardiovascular events
Fig. 3
Fig. 3
Hazard ratio forest plot of major cardiovascular events in different sub-groups

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