Importance: The 2018 American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology Multisociety Guideline on the Management of Blood Cholesterol identified patients with recent (past 12 months) myocardial infarction (MI) as very high risk, in whom a PCSK9 inhibitor is reasonable to add to maximally tolerated statin combined with ezetimibe if their low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level is 70 mg/dL or greater or non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol level is 100 mg/dL or greater.
Objective: To examine the clinical efficacy of evolocumab in patients with recent MI.
Design, setting, and participants: This was a prespecified secondary analysis of the Further Cardiovascular Outcomes Research With PCSK9 Inhibition in Subjects With Elevated Risk (FOURIER) trial, in which 27 564 patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease treated with a statin were randomized to evolocumab vs placebo. Patients with prior MI with a known date (n = 22 320) were stratified as having a recent MI (within 12 months of randomization) or a remote MI (more than 12 months prior to randomization). Per protocol, patients with MI within 4 weeks prior to randomization were excluded from the FOURIER trial. Data were collected from February 2013 to November 2016, and data were analyzed from May 2019 to February 2020.
Main outcomes and measures: The primary composite end point was cardiovascular death, MI, stroke, hospitalization for unstable angina, or coronary revascularization. The key secondary composite end point was cardiovascular death, MI, or stroke.
Results: Of 22 320 included patients, 17 516 (78.5%) were male, and the mean (SD) age was 62.2 (9.0) years. Compared with 16 609 patients with a remote MI, 5711 patients with a recent MI were younger and more likely to be treated with high-intensity statin (77.3%  vs 69.3% [11 506]). In the placebo arm, the 3-year Kaplan-Meier rate for the primary end point was 17.2% in patients with recent MI compared with 14.4% in those with remote MI (adjusted HR, 1.45; 95% CI, 1.29-1.64; P < .001). Similarly, the 3-year Kaplan-Meier rates for the key secondary end point was also higher in those with recent MI (10.9% vs 9.5%; adjusted HR, 1.45; 95% CI, 1.24-1.69; P < .001). In patients with a recent MI, evolocumab reduced the risk of the primary and key secondary end points by 19% (hazard ratio [HR], 0.81; 95% CI, 0.70-0.93) and 25% (HR, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.62-0.91), respectively. In patients with a remote MI, evolocumab reduced the risk of the primary and key secondary end points by 8% (HR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.84-1.01; P for interaction = .13) and 15% (HR, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.76-0.96; P for interaction = .24), respectively. Given the higher event rates in patients with a recent MI, the absolute risk reductions over 3 years with evolocumab were 3.7% in those with recent MI vs 1.1% in those with remote MI for the primary end point and 3.2% vs 1.3%, respectively, for the key secondary end point.
Conclusions and relevance: Patients with a recent MI were at higher risk of cardiovascular events and tended to experience greater absolute risk reductions with evolocumab than those with remote MIs. These findings support the concept in US and European guidelines to aggressively lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels in very high-risk patients, such as those with a recent MI.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01764633.