• High-dose atorvastatin vs usual-dose simvastatin for secondary prevention after myocardial infarction: the IDEAL study: a randomized controlled trial

      Pedersen, Terje R; Faergeman, Ole; Kastelein, John J P; Olsson, Anders G; Tikkanen, Matti J; Holme, Ingar; Larsen, Mogens Lytken; Bendiksen, Fredrik S; Lindahl, Christina; Szarek, Michael; et al. (American Medical Association, 2005-11-16)
      CONTEXT: Evidence suggests that more intensive lowering of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) than is commonly applied clinically will provide further benefit in stable coronary artery disease. OBJECTIVE: To compare the effects of 2 strategies of lipid lowering on the risk of cardiovascular disease among patients with a previous myocardial infarction (MI). DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: The IDEAL study, a prospective, randomized, open-label, blinded end-point evaluation trial conducted at 190 ambulatory cardiology care and specialist practices in northern Europe between March 1999 and March 2005 with a median follow-up of 4.8 years, which enrolled 8888 patients aged 80 years or younger with a history of acute MI. INTERVENTIONS: Patients were randomly assigned to receive a high dose of atorvastatin (80 mg/d; n = 4439), or usual-dose simvastatin (20 mg/d; n = 4449). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Occurrence of a major coronary event, defined as coronary death, confirmed nonfatal acute MI, or cardiac arrest with resuscitation. RESULTS: During treatment, mean LDL-C levels were 104 (SE, 0.3) mg/dL in the simvastatin group and 81 (SE, 0.3) mg/dL in the atorvastatin group. A major coronary event occurred in 463 simvastatin patients (10.4%) and in 411 atorvastatin patients (9.3%) (hazard ratio [HR], 0.89; 95% CI, 0.78-1.01; P = .07). Nonfatal acute MI occurred in 321 (7.2%) and 267 (6.0%) in the 2 groups (HR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.71-0.98; P = .02), but no differences were seen in the 2 other components of the primary end point. Major cardiovascular events occurred in 608 and 533 in the 2 groups, respectively (HR, 0.87; 95% CI, 0.77-0.98; P = .02). Occurrence of any coronary event was reported in 1059 simvastatin and 898 atorvastatin patients (HR, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.76-0.91; P<.001). Noncardiovascular death occurred in 156 (3.5%) and 143 (3.2%) in the 2 groups (HR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.73-1.15; P = .47). Death from any cause occurred in 374 (8.4%) in the simvastatin group and 366 (8.2%) in the atorvastatin group (HR, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.85-1.13; P = .81). Patients in the atorvastatin group had higher rates of drug discontinuation due to nonserious adverse events; transaminase elevation resulted in 43 (1.0%) vs 5 (0.1%) withdrawals (P<.001). Serious myopathy and rhabdomyolysis were rare in both groups. CONCLUSIONS: In this study of patients with previous MI, intensive lowering of LDL-C did not result in a significant reduction in the primary outcome of major coronary events, but did reduce the risk of other composite secondary end points and nonfatal acute MI. There were no differences in cardiovascular or all-cause mortality. Patients with MI may benefit from intensive lowering of LDL-C without an increase in noncardiovascular mortality or other serious adverse reactions.Trial Registration ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00159835.
    • Mortality and incidence of cancer during 10-year follow-up of the Scandinavian Simvastatin Survival Study (4S)

      Strandberg, Timo E; Pyörälä, Kalevi; Cook, Thomas J; Wilhelmsen, Lars; Faergeman, Ole; Thorgeirsson, Gudmundur; Pedersen, Terje R; Kjekshus, John (Lancet Publishing Group, 2004-08-28)
      BACKGROUND: The effects of cholesterol-lowering treatment with statins on mortality and risk of cancer beyond the usual 5-6-year trial periods are unknown. We extended post-trial follow-up of participants in the Scandinavian Simvastatin Survival Study (4S) to investigate cause-specific mortality and incidence of cancer 5 years after closure of the trial. METHODS: 4S was a randomised double-blind trial of simvastatin or placebo in patients with coronary heart disease, serum total cholesterol 5.5-8.0 mmol/L, and serum triglycerides 2.5 mmol/L or lower. The double-blind period lasted for a median of 5.4 years (range for survivors 4.9-6.3) and ended in 1994. After the trial, most patients in both groups received open-label lipid-lowering treatment. National registers were used to assess mortality and causes of death and cancer incidence in the original treatment groups for a median total follow-up time of 10.4 years (range for survivors 9.9-11.3). Analysis was by intention to treat. FINDINGS: 414 patients originally allocated simvastatin and 468 assigned placebo died during the 10.4-year follow-up (relative risk 0.85 [95% CI 0.74-0.97], p=0.02), a difference largely attributable to lower coronary mortality in the simvastatin group (238 vs 300 deaths; 0.76 [0.64-0.90], p=0.0018). 85 cancer deaths arose in the simvastatin group versus 100 in the placebo group (0.81 [0.60-1.08], p=0.14), and 227 incident cancers were reported in the simvastin group versus 248 in the placebo group (0.88 [0.73-1.05], p=0.15). Incidence of any specific type of cancer did not rise in the simvastatin group. INTERPRETATION: Simvastatin treatment for 5 years in a placebo-controlled trial, followed by open-label statin therapy, was associated with survival benefit over 10 years of follow-up compared with open-label statin therapy for the past 5 years only. No difference was noted in mortality from and incidence of cancer between the original simvastatin group and placebo group.