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Circulation. 1998 Apr 21;97(15):1453-60.

Lipoprotein changes and reduction in the incidence of major coronary heart disease events in the Scandinavian Simvastatin Survival Study (4S)

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Aker Hospital, Oslo, Norway.



The Scandinavian Simvastatin Survival Study (4S) randomized 4444 patients with coronary heart disease (CHD) and serum cholesterol 5.5 to 8.0 mmol/L (213 to 310 mg/dL) with triglycerides < or =2.5 mmol/L (220 mg/dL) to simvastatin 20 to 40 mg or placebo once daily. Over the median follow-up period of 5.4 years, one or more major coronary events (MCEs) occurred in 622 (28%) of the 2223 patients in the placebo group and 431 (19%) of the 2221 patients in the simvastatin group (34% risk reduction, P<.00001). Simvastatin produced substantial changes in several lipoprotein components, which we have attempted to relate to the beneficial effects observed.


The Cox proportional hazards model was used to assess the relationship between lipid values (baseline, year 1, and percent change from baseline at year 1) and MCEs. The reduction in MCEs within the simvastatin group was highly correlated with on-treatment levels and changes from baseline in total and LDL cholesterol, apolipoprotein B, and less so with HDL cholesterol, but there was no clear relationship with triglycerides. We estimate that each additional 1% reduction in LDL cholesterol reduces MCE risk by 1.7% (95% CI, 1.0% to 2.4%; P<.00001).


These analyses suggest that the beneficial effect of simvastatin in individual patients in 4S was determined mainly by the magnitude of the change in LDL cholesterol, and they are consistent with current guidelines that emphasize aggressive reduction of this lipid in CHD patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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