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Am J Med. 2001 Aug 15;111(3):185-91.

Achieving and maintaining National Cholesterol Education Program low-density lipoprotein cholesterol goals with five statins.

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  • 1Consultants in Cardiology, Fort Worth, Texas 76104, USA.



Most patients fail to achieve and maintain low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol goals established by the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP). The Atorvastatin Comparative Cholesterol Efficacy and Safety Study (ACCESS) was a randomized study comparing the efficacy and safety of five statins and their ability reduce LDL cholesterol to the NCEP target level.


Of 7542 patients screened, 3916 hypercholesterolemic patients were randomly assigned to treatment with a statin, beginning with the lowest recommended dose (atorvastatin, pravastatin, and simvastatin, 10 mg; fluvastatin and lovastatin, 20 mg). If the NCEP target was not achieved, the dose was titrated up to the recommended maximum (atorvastatin, fluvastatin, and lovastatin, 80 mg; pravastatin and simvastatin, 40 mg). The total duration of treatment was 54 weeks.


Atorvastatin achieved the greatest mean reduction in LDL cholesterol: 36% +/- 11% at 6 weeks (initial dose) and 42% +/- 13% at 54 weeks. More patients receiving atorvastatin at its initial dose (53%, 997 of 1888) achieved their NCEP target levels than patients receiving simvastatin (38%, 174 of 462), lovastatin (28%, 134 of 472), pravastatin (15%, 71 of 461), or fluvastatin (15%, 69 of 474) at the initial dose. Atorvastatin-treated patients were more likely to maintain their target levels from week 6 to week 54. The percent reduction in LDL cholesterol achieved at the initial dose correlated strongly with the proportion of patients who maintained their goals at 54 weeks (r = -0.84).


For patients treated with statins, providing a greater margin between the NCEP target level and the achieved LDL cholesterol level enhances the likelihood of maintaining NCEP goal levels.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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