Effects of low doses of simvastatin and atorvastatin on high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels in patients with hypercholesterolemia

A Branchi, A M Fiorenza, A Torri, F Muzio, C Berra, E Colombo, E Dalla Valle, A Rovellini, D Sommariva
Clinical Therapeutics 2001, 23 (6): 851-7

BACKGROUND: Simvastatin 40 to 80 mg/d has been found to increase high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels significantly more than atorvastatin at equipotent doses (ie, 20-80 mg/d). Data on the effects of lower doses of the 2 drugs on HDL-C levels are conflicting.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of simvastatin 20 mg/d and atorvastatin 10 mg/d on HDL-C levels in patients with hypercholesterolemia.

METHODS: Patients with primary hypercholesterolemia (total cholesterol [TC] >250 mg/dL) who were not taking any lipid-lowering agents and who were following a low-fat diet were randomized to receive 1 of 2 treatments: simvastatin 20 mg/d or atorvastatin 10 mg/d. Serum TC, triglycerides (TG), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), and HDL-C levels were measured using standard methods after 2 months of therapy. In a secondary analysis, lipids and lipoprotein cholesterol were measured after 1 year in patients who continued treatment.

RESULTS: Of the 240 patients enrolled (108 men and 132 women; age range, 23-77 years, mean [SEM] 56.7 [0.69]), 235 completed the study. After 2 months of therapy, TC, LDL-C, and serum TG levels decreased significantly versus baseline in both groups (P < 0.001), with no significant differences between treatment groups. HDL-C levels increased by 9.0% (P < 0.001 vs baseline) in the simvastatin group and by 4.3% (P < 0.02) in the atorvastatin group. The difference between the 2 groups in the percentage increase in HDL-C was statistically significant (P < 0.05). In 113 patients who continued treatment, HDL-C levels at 1 year were still significantly higher than baseline levels in the simvastatin group (6.3%, P = 0.034), but not in the atorvastatin group (2.8%, P = 0.587).

CONCLUSIONS: The findings from this study suggest that the HDL-C-increasing effect of simvastatin 20 mg is significantly greater than that of atorvastatin 10 mg. Since increasing HDL-C levels is thought to lower the risk for atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease, these results warrant further investigation.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"