The aim of this study was to compare ezetimibe/simvastatin combination therapy with intensified statin monotherapy as alternative treatment strategies to achieve the Joint British Societies (JBS)-2 and National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) target of < 2 mmol/l for secondary prevention or JBS-2 LDL-C target of < 2 mmol/l for primary prevention in high-risk patients who have failed to reach target with simvastatin 40 mg.
Methods: This is a prospective, double-blind study conducted in 34 UK primary care centres; 1748 patients with established cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes or high risk of CVD who had been taking simvastatin 40 mg for >= 6 weeks were screened and 786 (45%) with fasting LDL-C >= 2.0 mmol/l (and < 4.2 mmol/l) at screening and after a further 6-week run-in period on simvastatin 40 mg were randomised to ezetimibe/simvastatin 10/40 mg (as a combination tablet; n = 261), atorvastatin 40 mg (n = 263) or rosuvastatin 5 mg (n = 73) or 10 mg (n = 189) once daily for 6 weeks. Rosuvastatin dose was based on UK prescribing instructions. The primary outcome measure was the proportion of patients achieving LDL-C < 2 mmol/l at the end of the study.
Results: The percentage of patients (adjusted for baseline differences) achieving LDL-C < 2 mmol/l was 69.4% with ezetimibe/simvastatin 10/40 mg, compared with 33.5% for atorvastatin 40 mg [odds ratio 4.5 (95% CI: 3.0-6.8); p < 0.001] and 14.3% for rosuvastatin 5 or 10 mg [odds ratio 13.6 (95% CI: 8.6-21.6); p < 0.001]. Similar results were observed for achievement of total cholesterol < 4.0 mmol/l. All study treatments were well tolerated.
Conclusion: Approximately 45% of patients screened had not achieved LDL-C < 2 mmol/l after >= 12 weeks of treatment with simvastatin 40 mg. In this group, treatment with ezetimibe/simvastatin 10/40 mg achieved target LDL-C levels in a significantly higher proportion of patients during a 6-week period than switching to either atorvastatin 40 mg or rosuvastatin 5-10 mg.
- LIPID-ALTERING EFFICACY
- STATIN THERAPY