Background: Our study compared use of atorvastatin, fluvastatin, lovastatin, and simvastatin for lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol concentration in patients at risk for coronary heart disease (CHD). The goal was to reach the LDL cholesterol levels recommended by the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP).
Methods: A combined total of 344 men and women took part in this 54-week, multicenter, open-label, randomized, parallel-group, active-controlled, treat-to-target study. Patients were selected on the basis of their LDL cholesterol concentration and their risk for CHD. During treatment, doses were titrated at 12-week intervals to a maximum of 80 mg per day of atorvastatin and lovastatin, or 40 mg per day of fluvastatin and simvastatin, with colestipol added if necessary to attain the NCEP-recommended LDL cholesterol concentration.
Results: At the starting dose, atorvastatin decreased plasma LDL cholesterol significantly (P < .05) compared with the other reductase inhibitors, and the percentage of patients reaching target LDL cholesterol concentration at the starting dose was significantly greater in the atorvastatin group (P < .05). Overall, a significantly (P < .05) greater percentage (95%) of atorvastatin-treated patients achieved target LDL cholesterol concentration. The safety profile was similar among all reductase inhibitors tested.
Conclusions: At the starting dose, a significantly (P < .05) greater percentage of atorvastatin-treated patients at risk for CHD reached the target LDL cholesterol concentration than patients with treated with other reductase inhibitors.