C-reactive protein concentration not linked to benefits of statin therapy

January 01, 0001

C-reactive protein concentration not linked to benefits of statin therapy

It has been suggested that inflammation status, as assessed by C-reactive protein (CRP) concentration, modifies the vascular protective effects of statin therapy. In particular, there have been claims that statins might be more beneficial in people with raised CRP concentrations, and might even be ineffective in people with low concentrations of both CRP and LDL cholesterol. This study aimed to test this hypothesis. In 69 UK hospitals, 20 536 men and women aged 40—80 years at high risk of vascular events were randomly assigned to simvastatin 40 mg daily versus matching placebo for a mean of 5·0 years. Patients were categorised into six baseline CRP groups (less than 1·25, 1·25—1·99, 2·00—2·99, 3·00—4·99, 5·00—7·99, and greater than or equal to 8·00 mg/L).

Overall, allocation to simvastatin resulted in a significant 24% proportional reduction in the incidence of first major vascular event after randomisation (19·8% allocated simvastatin vs 25·2% allocated placebo). There was no evidence that the proportional reduction in this endpoint, or its components, varied with baseline CRP concentration. Even in participants with baseline CRP concentration less than 1·25 mg/L, major vascular events were significantly reduced by 29% (14·1% vs 19·4%). No significant heterogeneity in the relative risk reduction was recorded between the four subgroups defined by the combination of low or high baseline concentrations of LDL cholesterol and CRP. In particular, there was clear evidence of benefit in those with both low LDL cholesterol and low CRP (27% reduction; 15·6% vs 20·9%).

The researchers concluded: "Evidence from this large- scale randomised trial does not lend support to the hypothesis that baseline CRP concentration modifies the vascular benefits of statin therapy materially."

Looks beneficial across the board, although restricted to one statin and one dosage.

For the full abstract, click here.

The Lancet published online 28 January 2011
© 2011 Elsevier Limited
C-reactive protein concentration and the vascular benefits of statin therapy: an analysis of 20 536 patients in the Heart Protection Study. Heart Protection Study Collaborative Group.

Category: K. Circulatory Keywords: C-reactive protein, vascular, benefits, statins, simvastatin, prospective study, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Stephen Wilkinson, Melbourne, Australia. Posted on Global Family Doctor 11 February 2011

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