A comparison of the efficacy and tolerability of titrate-to-goal regimens of simvastatin and fluvastatin: a randomized, double-blind study in adult patients at moderate to high risk for cardiovascular disease.
Author(s): van Dam MJ, Penn HJ, den Hartog FR, Kragten HA, Trip MD, Buirma RJ, Kastelein JJ, MUST Study Group
Affiliation(s): Department of Vascular Medicine, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Publication date & source: 2001-03, Clin Ther., 23(3):467-78.
Publication type: Clinical Trial; Multicenter Study; Randomized Controlled Trial
BACKGROUND: Use of cholesterol-lowering regimens has been shown to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), both in primary and secondary prevention. However, there have been few studies of the relative benefits and risks of the various cholesterol-lowering agents in patient groups with specific risk factors for CHD. OBJECTIVE: The primary goal of this study was to compare the proportions of adult patients with primary hypercholesterolemia and a moderate to high risk for CHD achieving National Cholesterol Education Program low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) goals with titrate-to-goal regimens of simvastatin and fluvastatin. METHODS: This was a multicenter, prospective, randomized, double-blind, parallel-group study enrolling adult patients with type IIa or IIb primary hypercholesterolemia, LDL-C levels <6.0 mmol/L (<232.0 mg/dL), and triglyceride levels <4.5 mmol/L (<398.6 mg/dL), and either CHD or other atherosclerotic disease (the CHD, or high-risk, group), or multiple risk factors for CHD (the MRF, or moderate-risk, group). After a 6-week washout period, patients were randomized to 18 weeks of treatment at an initial dosage of simvastatin 10 mg once daily or fluvastatin 20 mg once daily. At 6- and 12-week titration visits, the dosage in patients who had not acheived the LDL-C goal could be increased to simvastatin 20 mg once daily and then 40 mg once daily, or to fluvastatin 40 mg once daily and then 40 mg twice daily. Lipid profiles were obtained at each titration visit and at the end of treatment. In addition to the comparison between treatments, secondary comparisons were made between the CHD and MRF subgroups within each treatment group. Statistical significance was assessed using analysis of variance. Results: A total of 478 patients were enrolled, 237 in the simvastatin group and 241 in the fluvastatin group. There were no significant between-group differences in patients' characteristics at baseline. At the end of the study, 60.8% (135/222) of patients in the simvastatin group had reached target LDL-C goals, compared with 35.1% (76/216) in the fluvastatin group (P < 0.001). In the simvastatin CHD and MRF subgroups, 49% and 73%, respectively, reached the LDL-C target, compared with 19% and 50% in the corresponding fluvastatin subgroups (P < 0.001). The proportion of patients requiring titration was higher in the fluvastatin group than in the simvastatin group (87.1% and 64.1%, respectively; P = 0.001). The incidence of adverse events was similar between groups. CONCLUSION: In this study, more patients with primary hypercholesterolemia and CHD or multiple risk factors for CHD reached LDL-C goals with simvastatin treatment and required less titration than those who received fluvastatin treatment.