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Am J Cardiol. 2007 Sep 1;100(5):747-52. Epub 2007 Jun 14.

Safety and efficacy of Atorvastatin-induced very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels in Patients with coronary heart disease (a post hoc analysis of the treating to new targets [TNT] study).

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State University of New York Health Science Center, New York, New York, USA.


High-dose statin therapy has been demonstrated to provide incremental benefit when low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol concentrations are lowered well below recommended target levels. This secondary analysis of the Treating to New Targets (TNT) study was conducted to investigate whether the attainment of very low LDL cholesterol levels was associated with a further reduction in major cardiovascular events compared with higher LDL cholesterol concentrations and whether any incremental benefit was achieved without additional safety risk. Patients with coronary heart disease and LDL cholesterol levels <130 mg/dl (3.4 mmol/L) were randomized to therapy with atorvastatin 10 mg/day (n = 5,006) or 80 mg/day (n = 4,995). The primary end point was the occurrence of a first major cardiovascular event. Clinical outcomes and safety data were compared across on-treatment LDL cholesterol quintiles. There was a highly significant reduction in the rate of major cardiovascular events with descending achieved levels of on-treatment LDL cholesterol (p <0.0001 for trend across LDL cholesterol). Analysis of individual components of the primary end point demonstrated similar results. Death from any cause and from noncardiovascular causes was lowest in patients with the lowest on-treatment LDL cholesterol levels. Cardiovascular deaths were also reduced with lower levels of on-treatment LDL cholesterol. There were no clinically important differences in adverse event rates across quintiles. Specifically, no increase in muscle complaints, suicide, hemorrhagic stroke, or cancer deaths was observed at the lowest LDL cholesterol levels. In conclusion, the present analysis adds support to the concept that for patients with established atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, a further risk reduction without sacrifice of safety can be achieved by reducing LDL cholesterol to very low levels.

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