Lp(a) lipoprotein level predicts survival and major coronary events in the Scandinavian Simvastatin Survival Study

Clin Genet. 1997 Nov;52(5):254-61. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-0004.1997.tb04342.x.


The Scandinavian Simvastatin Survival Study (4S) was a double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled multi-centre clinical trial of long-term Simvastatin therapy in patients with coronary heart disease who had total cholesterol levels between 5.5 and 8.0 mmol/l, comprising 4444 patients, equally distributed to a Simvastatin and a placebo group. Patients achieved a significant 30% relative reduction in overall mortality with Simvastatin therapy through a 42% relative reduction in coronary heart disease mortality. Lp(a) lipoprotein levels in Scandinavian coronary heart disease patients were strikingly higher than in healthy controls. Numbers of deaths in the Simvastatin group differed significantly between quartiles of Lp(a) lipoprotein levels, the reduction in deaths being most pronounced in the second (next to lowest) quartile. Subjects with major coronary events had significantly higher Lp(a) lipoprotein levels than subjects without such events, in all groups. The relationship between Lp(a) lipoprotein level and total mortality as well as between Lp(a) lipoprotein level and major coronary events was significantly different from zero, in logistic regression analyses. The findings show that Lp(a) lipoprotein predicts major coronary events as well as death in secondary prevention with Simvastatin. This prospective study provides independent confirmation that a high Lp(a) lipoprotein level is a significant coronary heart disease risk factor.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood
  • Lipoprotein(a) / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Scandinavian and Nordic Countries
  • Simvastatin / therapeutic use*


  • Lipids
  • Lipoprotein(a)
  • Cholesterol
  • Simvastatin