Ezetimibe Lipid-Lowering Trial on Prevention of Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease in 75 or Older (EWTOPIA 75): A Randomized, Controlled Trial

Circulation. 2019 Sep 17;140(12):992-1003. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.118.039415. Epub 2019 Aug 22.


Background: Evidence regarding the primary prevention of coronary artery disease events by low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) lowering therapy in older individuals, aged ≥75 years, is insufficient. This trial tested whether LDL-C-lowering therapy with ezetimibe is useful for the primary prevention of cardiovascular events in older patients.

Methods: This multicenter, prospective, randomized, open-label, blinded end-point evaluation conducted at 363 medical institutions in Japan examined the preventive efficacy of ezetimibe for patients aged ≥75 years, with elevated LDL-C without history of coronary artery disease. Patients, who all received dietary counseling, were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive ezetimibe (10 mg once daily) versus usual care with randomization stratified by site, age, sex, and baseline LDL-C. The primary outcome was a composite of sudden cardiac death, myocardial infarction, coronary revascularization, or stroke.

Results: Overall, 3796 patients were enrolled between May 2009 and December 2014, and 1898 each were randomly assigned to ezetimibe versus control. Median follow-up was 4.1 years. After exclusion of 182 ezetimibe patients and 203 control patients because of lack of appropriate informed consent and other protocol violations, 1716 (90.4%) and 1695 (89.3%) patients were included in the primary analysis, respectively. Ezetimibe reduced the incidence of the primary outcome (hazard ratio [HR], 0.66; 95% CI, 0.50-0.86; P=0.002). Regarding the secondary outcomes, the incidences of composite cardiac events (HR, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.37-0.98; P=0.039) and coronary revascularization (HR, 0.38; 95% CI, 0.18-0.79; P=0.007) were lower in the ezetimibe group than in the control group; however, there was no difference in the incidence of stroke, all-cause mortality, or adverse events between trial groups.

Conclusions: LDL-C-lowering therapy with ezetimibe prevented cardiovascular events, suggesting the importance of LDL-C lowering for primary prevention in individuals aged ≥75 years with elevated LDL-C. Given the open-label nature of the trial, its premature termination and issues with follow-up, the magnitude of benefit observed should be interpreted with caution. Clinical Registration: URL: https://www.umin.ac.jp. Unique identifier: UMIN000001988.

Keywords: LDL cholesterol; cardiovascular disease; elderly; ezetimibe; primary prevention.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Atherosclerosis / drug therapy*
  • Atherosclerosis / epidemiology
  • Ezetimibe / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hypolipidemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Incidence
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Primary Prevention
  • Prospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Hypolipidemic Agents
  • Ezetimibe