Achieving LDL cholesterol, non-HDL cholesterol, and apolipoprotein B target levels in high-risk patients: Measuring Effective Reductions in Cholesterol Using Rosuvastatin therapY (MERCURY) II

Christie M Ballantyne, Marcelo Bertolami, Hugo Ricardo Hernandez Garcia, Daniel Nul, Evan A Stein, Pierre Theroux, Robert Weiss, Valerie A Cain, Joel S Raichlen
American Heart Journal 2006, 151 (5): 975.e1-9

BACKGROUND: National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III guidelines for patients at a high risk of coronary heart disease set a low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) target of < 100 mg/dL. This target can be difficult to attain with diet and current therapy.

METHODS: In a 16-week multinational trial, 1993 high-risk patients were randomized to rosuvastatin 20 mg, atorvastatin 10 mg, atorvastatin 20 mg, simvastatin 20 mg, or simvastatin 40 mg for 8 weeks. Patients either remained on starting treatment or switched to lower or milligram-equivalent doses of rosuvastatin for 8 more weeks.

RESULTS: At 16 weeks, more patients achieved their LDL-C target by switching to rosuvastatin 10 mg than staying on atorvastatin 10 mg (66% vs 42%, P < .001) or simvastatin 20 mg (73% vs 32%, P < .001). Changing to rosuvastatin 20 mg brought more patients to their LDL-C target than staying on atorvastatin 20 mg (79% vs 64%, P < .001) or simvastatin 40 mg (84% vs 56%, P < .001). More very high risk patients achieved an LDL-C target of < 70 mg/dL when changed to rosuvastatin from atorvastatin or simvastatin (within-arm comparisons P < .01). More hypertriglyceridemic patients (triglycerides > or = 200 mg/dL) met LDL-C, non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (non-HDL-C), and apolipoprotein B targets by changing to rosuvastatin. Switching to rosuvastatin produced greater reductions in LDL-C, total cholesterol, non-HDL-C, apolipoprotein B, and lipid ratios. All treatments were well tolerated, with no differences among treatment groups in skeletal muscle, hepatic, or renal toxicity.

CONCLUSION: Rosuvastatin 10 or 20 mg is an effective and safe therapeutic option for high-risk patients to achieve their lipid and apolipoprotein targets.

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