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Circulation. 1998 Apr 21;97(15):1440-5.

Influence of pravastatin and plasma lipids on clinical events in the West of Scotland Coronary Prevention Study (WOSCOPS).

[No authors listed]



The West of Scotland Coronary Prevention Study was a primary prevention trial that demonstrated the effectiveness of pravastatin (40 mg/d) in reducing morbidity and mortality from coronary heart disease (CHD) in moderately hypercholesterolemic men. The present analysis examines the extent to which differences in LDL and other plasma lipids both at baseline and on treatment influenced CHD risk reduction.


Relationships between baseline lipid concentrations and incidence of all cardiovascular events and between on-treatment lipid concentrations and risk reduction in patients taking pravastatin were examined by use of Cox regression models and by division of the cohort into quintiles. Variation in plasma lipids at baseline did not influence the relative risk reduction generated by pravastatin therapy. Fall in LDL level in the pravastatin-treated group did not correlate with CHD risk reduction in multivariate regression. Furthermore, maximum benefit of an approximately 45% risk reduction was observed in the middle quintile of LDL reduction (mean 24% fall); further mean decrements in LDL (up to 39%) were not associated with a greater decrease in CHD risk. Comparison of event rates between placebo- and pravastatin-treated subjects with the same LDL cholesterol level provided evidence for an apparent treatment effect that was independent of LDL.


We conclude that the treatment effect of 40 mg/d of pravastatin is proportionally the same regardless of baseline lipid phenotype. There is no CHD risk reduction unless LDL levels are reduced, but a fall in the range of 24% is sufficient to produce the full benefit in patients taking this dose of pravastatin. LDL reduction alone does not appear to account entirely for the benefits of pravastatin therapy.

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