intensive statin therapy in acute coronary syndromes and stable coronary heart disease: a meta-analysis (Afilalo J et al, 2007)

Last reviewed 01/2018

  • intensive statin therapy reduces major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE), but the effect on mortality is unclear
    • a meta-analysis was undertaken:
      • to determine whether intensive statin therapy reduces all-cause mortality compared with moderate statin therapy in patients with recent acute coronary syndromes (ACS) and stable coronary heart disease (CHD)
      • selection criteria were randomised allocation to intensive statin therapy (atorvastatin 80 mg/day, simvastatin 80 mg/day, or rosuvastatin 20-40 mg/day) versus moderate statin therapy, recent ACS or stable CHD at the time of randomisation, and > or =6 months of follow-up
        • six trials, encompassing 110 271 patient-years, were pooled
          • in patients with recent ACS, intensive statin therapy reduced all-cause mortality from 4.6% to 3.5% over 2.0 years (OR = 0.75, 95% CI 0.61 to 0.93)
          • in patients with stable CHD, intensive statin therapy had no effect on all-cause mortality over 4.7 years (OR = 0.99, 95% CI 0.89 to 1.11)
          • overall, intensive statin therapy was associated with a reduction in MACE (OR = 0.84, 95% CI 0.77 to 0.91) and admissions to hospital for heart failure (OR = 0.72, 95% CI 0.62 to 0.83)
          • intensive statin therapy was also associated with an increase in hepatic transaminases >3 times normal (OR = 3.73, 95% CI 2.11 to 6.58) and a trend towards increased creatine kinase >10 times normal and/or rhabdomyolysis (OR = 1.96, 95% CI 0.50 to 7.63)
    • the study authors concluded that:
      • compared with moderate statin therapy, intensive statin therapy reduces all-cause mortality in patients with recent ACS but not in patients with stable CHD