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Atherogenic risk reduction in patients with dyslipidaemia. comparison between bezafibrate and lovastatin.

Author(s): Sinzinger H, Pirich C, Kondor P, Etti H

Affiliation(s): Wilhelm Auerswald Atherosclerosis Research Group for the BLAU Study Group, Vienna, Austria.

Publication date & source: 1995-11, Eur Heart J., 16(11):1491-501.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Multicenter Study; Randomized Controlled Trial

OBJECTIVE: To examine the atherogenic risk-reducing effect of bezafibrate and lovastatin. DESIGN, SETTING, PATIENTS, INTERVENTIONS: Double-blind, randomized clinical trial of male and female patients with moderate hypercholesterolaemia with or without hypertriglyceridaemia. Two months dietary treatment followed by 400 mg sustained release bezafibrate every day or 20 mg lovastatin every day for 6 months. Patients recruited (n = 561) and treated (n = 524) by primary care physicians throughout Austria. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Multifactorial assessment of atherogenic risk profile. RESULTS: Bezafibrate increased high density lipoprotein cholesterol by 16%, lovastatin by 10% (P < 0.05). Bezafibrate decreased low density lipoprotein cholesterol by 20%, lovastatin by 27% (P < 0.001). Bezafibrate decreased total cholesterol by 15%, lovastatin by 18% (P < 0.001). Bezafibrate reduced triglycerides by 29%, lovastatin by 13% (P < 0.001); and fibrinogen by 9.4% and 3.0%, respectively. Fibrinogen reduction as a result of bezafibrate administration was dependent on starting levels. The risk ratio cholesterol:high density lipoprotein cholesterol (baseline both 6.1) reduction was 27% in both groups. The low:high density lipoprotein ratio (baseline: 4.1/4.2) reduction reached 31% and 34% respectively. Coronary events' probability (calculated from multifactorial risk functions) were greatly reduced by both agents (41%/33%). Hypertriglyceridaemic patients had a higher initial global coronary risk and profited more from treatment. Bezafibrate was significantly better tolerated (P < 0.001) than lovastatin; most events were gastrointestinal (6 vs 14, ns) or as a result of creatine phosphokinase elevations (3 vs 12, P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Both treatments significantly reduced the risk parameters for developing coronary heart disease, and calculated multifactorial coronary risk was similarly decreased. When selecting a drug for moderate dyslipidaemia and if haemostatic regulation is disturbed, the additional effect of bezafibrate on elevated fibrinogen levels should be considered.

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