Comparison of rosuvastatin with atorvastatin, simvastatin and pravastatin in achieving cholesterol goals and improving plasma lipids in hypercholesterolaemic patients with or without the metabolic syndrome in the MERCURY I trial

S Stender, H Schuster, P Barter, C Watkins, D Kallend et al.
Diabetes, Obesity & Metabolism 2005, 7 (4): 430-8

AIM: The metabolic syndrome (MS) increases the risk of coronary heart disease, yet few data are available on the effects of statin treatment in improving lipid measures in patients with the syndrome. This analysis compares the effects of statin therapy on plasma low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) goal achievement and lipid levels in hypercholesterolaemic patients with or without the MS.

METHODS: The Measuring Effective Reductions in Cholesterol Using Rosuvastatin TherapY I (MERCURY I) trial compared rosuvastatin 10 mg with atorvastatin 10 mg and 20 mg, simvastatin 20 mg and pravastatin 40 mg over 8 weeks in patients with coronary or other atherosclerotic diseases or diabetes who had fasting levels of LDL-C of >or=2.99 mmol/l and triglycerides of <4.52 mmol/l. Modified National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III (ATP III) criteria for the MS were met by 1342 (43%) of 3140 patients.

RESULTS: LDL-C goal achievement rates and reductions in LDL-C, total cholesterol and non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) were similar in patients with and without the MS within statin treatment groups; triglycerides were reduced more and HDL-C tended to be increased more in patients with the MS, as expected. Treatment with rosuvastatin 10 mg was more effective in allowing patients with and without the MS to reach European and ATP III LDL-C goals, compared to atorvastatin 10 mg, simvastatin 20 mg and pravastatin 40 mg (p < 0.0001 for all comparisons); consistently produced greater reductions in LDL-C, total cholesterol and non-HDL-C, compared to these treatments; and produced similar or greater reductions in triglycerides and increases in HDL-C, compared to the other treatments.

CONCLUSIONS: Statin therapy is effective in allowing LDL-C goal achievement and improving the lipid profile in hypercholesterolaemic high-risk patients with the MS. Rosuvastatin 10 mg presents significant advantages in goal achievement and lipid lowering over other statins at commonly used doses in patients both with and without the MS.

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