Lipid levels and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol goal attainment in diabetic patients: rosuvastatin compared with other statins in usual care

Carolyn R Harley, Sanjay K Gandhi, Herbert Heien, Ken McDonough, Stephanie P Nelson
Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy 2008, 9 (5): 669-76

OBJECTIVE: To compare change in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels and National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Adult Treatment Panel III LDL-C goal attainment in diabetic patients treated with rosuvastatin versus other statins in a large, managed care health plan.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: This retrospective cohort analysis used medical and pharmacy claims linked to laboratory results from a commercial/MedicareAdvantage health plan. Study participants were >or= 18 years of age, had a diagnosis of diabetes, were newly treated with statins from 8/1/03 to 2/28/05, and were considered at high risk for cardiovascular events as defined by NCEP guidelines. Subjects were continuously enrolled for 12 months pre-index and >or= 30 days post-index, with variable follow-up until therapy discontinuation or end of health plan eligibility.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Change in LDL-C from baseline, and attainment of NCEP LDL-C goal among patients not at goal before starting therapy.

RESULTS: A total of 3337 adult patients with diabetes were identified with new use of statin therapy during the identification period. A total of 9% (n = 301) started on rosuvastatin, 49.4% (n = 1,649) on atorvastatin, 20.7% (n = 690) on simvastatin, 7.0% (n = 234) on pravastatin, 11.7% (n = 391) on lovastatin and 2.2% (n = 72) on fluvastatin. After controlling for covariates, rosuvastatin patients experienced a significantly greater decrease in LDL-C from baseline (38.7%) than patients taking atorvastatin (34.2%) (p = 0.05), simvastatin (31.5%), pravastatin (24.2%), fluvastatin (26.3%) or lovastatin (24.9%) (p < 0.0001). Rosuvastatin users were significantly more likely to attain LDL-C goal than those taking the other statins (odds ratio: 0.44, 0.28, 0.14, 0.14, 0.19, respectively; p < 0.001). Predicted percent attaining goal was significantly greater for those taking rosuvastatin (87.3%) than for those taking atorvastatin (76.9%), simvastatin (68.7%), pravastatin (55.0%), lovastatin (55.3%) or fluvastatin (61.3%) (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSION: For diabetic patients, rosuvastatin is more effective at reducing LDL-C levels and attaining NCEP ATP III LDL-C goal than other statins in real-world clinical practice.

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