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Circulation. 1995 Nov 1;92(9):2404-10.

Effects of cholesterol lowering on the progression of coronary atherosclerosis in women. A Canadian Coronary Atherosclerosis Intervention Trial (CCAIT) substudy.

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  • 1Division of Cardiology, Hartford Hospital, CT 06102-5037, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Although coronary disease is the leading cause of death in women and its clinical features differ from those in men, very few women have been included in angiographic trials of cholesterol lowering.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

Sixty-two women with diffuse but not necessarily severe coronary atherosclerosis documented on a recent angiogram and with fasting serum cholesterol between 220 and 300 mg/dL were enrolled in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. More than one half had a history of hypertension, approximately one quarter were diabetics, and one third were current smokers. All women received dietary counseling. Lovastatin or placebo was begun at 20 mg/d and was titrated if necessary to 40 and then to 80 mg during the first 16 weeks to attain a fasting LDL cholesterol < or = 130 mg/dL. The mean lovastatin dose was 34 mg/d. Total and LDL cholesterol decreased by 24% and 32%, respectively, in lovastatin-treated women but by < 3% in women receiving placebo. Coronary arteriography was repeated after 2 years in 54 women (87%), and their 394 lesions were measured "blindly" on pairs of film with an automated computerized quantitative system. Progression, defined as a worsening in minimum diameter of one or more stenoses by > or = 0.4 mm, occurred in 7 of 25 lovastatin-treated women and 17 of 29 placebo-treated women (28% versus 59%, P = .031). New coronary lesions developed in 1 lovastatin-treated woman and 13 placebo-treated women (4% versus 45%, P < .001). The outcome for each of the angiographic end points was not significantly different between the women and the 245 men who completed the trial.

CONCLUSIONS:

Lovastatin slows the progression of coronary atherosclerosis and prevents the development of new coronary lesions in women.

PMID:
7586338
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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