Background: Cholesterol lowering is associated with a reduction in cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. This study sought to determine whether cholesterol lowering also results in a reduction of myocardial ischemia during daily life. Methods and Results: We enrolled 40 patients with proven coronary artery disease, total serum cholesterol between 191 and 327 mg/dL, and at least one episode of ST-segment depression on ambulatory ECG monitoring. Twenty patients were randomized to an American Heart Association Step 1 diet plus placebo (placebo group) and 20 to the same diet plus lovastatin (treatment group). Serum cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels and ambulatory monitoring were repeated after 4 to 6 months of therapy. The two groups were comparable with respect to baseline characteristics, number of episodes of ST segment depression, and baseline serum cholesterol levels. The treatment group had lower mean total and LDL cholesterol levels at study end and experienced a significant reduction in the number of episodes of ST- segment depression compared with the placebo group. ST segment depression was completely resolved in 13 of 20 patients (65%) in the treatment group versus 2 of 20 (10%) in the placebo group. The treatment group exhibited a highly significant reduction in ischemia (P<.001). By logistic regression, treatment with diet and lovastatin was an independent predictor of ischemia resolution. Conclusions: Cholesterol lowering with lovastatin appears to be effective in eliminating myocardial ischemia during daily life in a significant proportion of patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)