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Syst Rev. 2013 Apr 23;2:22. doi: 10.1186/2046-4053-2-22.

Lipophilic versus hydrophilic statin therapy for heart failure: a protocol for an adjusted indirect comparison meta-analysis.

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  • 1School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Monash University Sunway Campus, Jalan Lagoon Selatan, Bandar Sunway, Selangor, DE 46150, Malaysia.



Statins are known to reduce cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in primary and secondary prevention studies. Subsequently, a number of nonrandomised studies have shown statins improve clinical outcomes in patients with heart failure (HF). Small randomised controlled trials (RCT) also show improved cardiac function, reduced inflammation and mortality with statins in HF. However, the findings of two large RCTs do not support the evidence provided by previous studies and suggest statins lack beneficial effects in HF. Two meta-analyses have shown statins do not improve survival, whereas two others showed improved cardiac function and reduced inflammation in HF. It appears lipophilic statins produce better survival and other outcome benefits compared to hydrophilic statins. But the two types have not been compared in direct comparison trials in HF.


We will conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis of lipophilic and hydrophilic statin therapy in patients with HF. Our objectives are:1. To determine the effects of lipophilic statins on (1) mortality, (2) hospitalisation for worsening HF, (3) cardiac function and (4) inflammation.2. To determine the effects of hydrophilic statins on (1) mortality, (2) hospitalisation for worsening HF, (3) cardiac function and (4) inflammation.3. To compare the efficacy of lipophilic and hydrophilic statins on HF outcomes with an adjusted indirect comparison meta-analysis.We will conduct an electronic search of databases for RCTs that evaluate statins in patients with HF. The reference lists of all identified studies will be reviewed. Two independent reviewers will conduct the search. The inclusion criteria include:1. RCTs comparing statins with placebo or no statin in patients with symptomatic HF.2. RCTs that employed the intention-to-treat (ITT) principle in data analysis.3. Symptomatic HF patients of all aetiologies and on standard treatment.4. Statin of any dose as intervention.5. Placebo or no statin arm as control.The exclusion criteria include:1. RCTs involving cerivastatin in HF patients.2. RCTs with less than 4 weeks of follow-up.


We will perform an adjusted indirect comparison meta-analysis of lipophilic versus hydrophilic statins in patients with HF using placebo or no statin arm as common comparator.

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