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Circulation. 1995 Oct 1;92(7):1758-64.

Kuopio Atherosclerosis Prevention Study (KAPS). A population-based primary preventive trial of the effect of LDL lowering on atherosclerotic progression in carotid and femoral arteries.

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Research Institute of Public Health, University of Kuopio, Finland.



The atherosclerotic progression-reducing effect of LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) lowering has been established in subjects with severe atherosclerotic disease but not in persons with elevated LDL cholesterols without severe atherosclerosis. KAPS (Kuopio Atherosclerosis Prevention Study) is the first population-based trial in the primary prevention of carotid and femoral atherosclerosis.


The eligibility requirements were serum LDL-C > or = 4.0 mmol/L and total cholesterol < 7.5 mmol/L. Out of a geographically defined population, 447 men aged 44 to 65 years (mean, 57) were randomized to pravastatin (40 mg/d) or placebo for 3 years. Less than 10% of the subjects had prior myocardial infarction. Thirty-nine men discontinued study medication; however, efficacy data were available for 424 men. The primary outcome was the rate of carotid atherosclerotic progression, measured as the linear slope over annual ultrasound examinations in the average of the maximum carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) of the far wall of up to four arterial segments (the right and left distal common carotid artery and the right and left carotid bulb). For the carotid arteries, at the overall mean baseline IMT of 1.66 mm, the rate of progression of carotid atherosclerosis was 45% (95% CI, 16 to 69%) less in the pravastatin (0.017 mm/y) than the placebo (0.031 mm/y) group (P = .005). In the common carotid artery there was a treatment effect of 66% (95% CI, 30 to 95%; pravastatin 0.010 mm/y; placebo 0.029 mm/y; P < .002) at the overall mean baseline IMT of 1.35 mm. A treatment effect of 30% (95% CI, -1% to 54%) was found for the carotid bulb (pravastatin, 0.028; placebo, 0.040; P = .056) at the overall mean baseline IMT of 2.0 mm. The treatment effect was larger in subjects with higher baseline IMT values, in smokers and in those with low plasma vitamin E levels. There was no significant treatment effect on atherosclerotic progression in the femoral arteries.


These data establish the antiatherogenic effect of LDL-C lowering by pravastatin in hypercholesterolemic men in a primary prevention setting and suggest a greater effect in smokers than in nonsmokers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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