Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels and LDL-C goal attainment among elderly patients treated with rosuvastatin compared with other statins in routine clinical practice

Carolyn R Harley, Sanjay Gandhi, James Blasetto, Herbert Heien, Rahul Sasane, Stephanie P Nelson
American Journal of Geriatric Pharmacotherapy 2007, 5 (3): 185-94

BACKGROUND: Reducing low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels lowers the risk of consequences of cardiovascular disease. Research has confirmed these benefits in elderly patients. The 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A inhibitors (ie, statins) have long-standing proven efficacy in reducing levels of LDL-C and total cholesterol.

OBJECTIVE: The goal of this study was to compare change in LDL-C from baseline and National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Adult Treatment Panel (ATP) III LDL-C goal attainment in a population of elderly patients (aged > or =65 years) treated with rosuvastatin versus other statins in routine clinical practice.

METHODS: This was a retrospective cohort analysis using medical and pharmacy claims data linked to clinical laboratory results from a large managed care health plan of commercial and Medicare Advantage members in the United States. Included were members aged > or =65 years who were newly treated with statins (index date) from August 1, 2003, through February 28, 2005. All subjects were continuously enrolled for 12 months preindex and > or =30 days postindex, with variable follow-up until therapy discontinuation or end of health plan eligibility. Based on NCEP ATP III guidelines, patients were grouped into risk categories with associated LDL-C goals. The primary outcomes were change in LDL-C from baseline and attainment of NCEP ATP III LDL-C goal among patients not at goal before starting therapy. Generalized linear modeling was used to assess percent change in LDL-C from baseline, controlling for covariates (including age, sex, NCEP risk level, medication possession ratio, preindex LDL-C value, days from index date to postindex LDL-C value, and number of preindex office visits for dyslipidemia). In the subset of patients not at goal before starting therapy, logistic regression was used to estimate the odds of individual patients on other statins reaching goal as compared with rosuvastatin and to produce predicted percent attaining LDL-C goal on individual statins.

RESULTS: Of the 2227 elderly new users of statin therapy, 8.0% started on rosuvastatin, 38.9% started on atorvastatin, 3.0% on fluvastatin, 31.0% on lovastatin, 5.5% on pravastatin, and 13.6% on simvastatin. Females comprised 57.7% of the population, and the mean (SD) age was 73 (5.8) years (range, 65-94 years). The mean (SD) doses of rosuvastatin, atorvastatin, fluvastatin, lovastatin, pravastatin, and simvastatin were 10.65 (4.59), 16.0 (12.78), 66.31 (23.56), 27.38 (14.07), 32.86 (16.46), and 28.1 (26.2) mg, respectively. After controlling for covariates, rosuvastatin-treated patients had a 35.8% decrease in LDL-C from baseline, which was significantly greater compared with patients in the atorvastatin, fluvastatin, lovastatin, pravastatin, and simvastatin (29.3%, 21.9%, 22.5%, 22.0%, and 24.9%, respectively; P < 0.05) groups. Atorvastatin (odds ratio [OR], 0.25; 95% CI, 0.12-0.52), fluvastatin (OR, 0.05; 95% CI, 0.02-0.14), lovastatin (OR, 0.10; 95% CI, 0.05-0.20), pravastatin (OR, 0.08; 95% CI, 0.03-0.20), and simvastatin (OR, 0.14; 95% CI, 0.06-0.30) were less likely to attain LDL-C goal compared with rosuvastatin (all, P < 0.001). Predicted percent attaining goal was 93.6% among rosuvastatin users, significantly greater than users of atorvastatin, fluvastatin, lovastatin, pravastatin, and simvastatin (81.2%, 55.8%, 66.8%, 64.1%, and 72.8%, respectively; P < 0.05).

CONCLUSION: In this elderly patient population, rosuvastatin was a more effective treatment for reducing LDL-C levels and attaining NCEP ATP III LDL-C goals than the other statins.

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