Effectiveness and Safety of Statin Therapy in Children: A Real-World Clinical Practice Experience

Rae Ellen W. Kavey, Cedric Manlhiot, Kyle Runeckles, Tanveer Collins, Samuel S. Gidding, Matthew Demczko, Sarah Clauss, Ashraf S. Harahsheh, Michele Mietus-Syder, Michael Khoury, Nicolas Madsen, Brian W. McCrindle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Statin use for hypercholesterolemia in children is predominantly reported from short-term clinical trials. In this study, we assess the efficacy and safety of statin treatment in clinical pediatric practice. Methods: Records of all patients who began statin treatment at age <18 years and remained on statins for >6 months from 5 pediatric lipid clinics were reviewed. Information at baseline and from all clinic evaluations after statin initiation was recorded, including lipid measurements, statin drug/dose, safety measures (anthropometry, hepatic enzymes, creatine kinase levels), and symptoms. Lipid changes on statin therapy were assessed from baseline to 6 ± 3 months and from 6 ± 3 months to last follow-up with a mixed-effects model, using piecewise linear splines to describe temporal changes, controlling for repeated measures, sex, and age. Results: There were 289 patients with median low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) of 5.3 mmol/L (interquartile range [IQR]:4.5–6.5) and mean age of 12.4 ± 2.9 years at statin initiation. Median duration of therapy was 2.7 years (IQR: 1.6–4.5) with 95% on statins at last evaluation. There were significant decreases in total cholesterol, LDL-C, and non–high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (non–HDL-C) from baseline to 6 ± 3 months (P < 0.001) and from 6 ±3 months to last follow-up (P < 0.001). Triglycerides and HDL-C were unchanged but the triglyceride to HDL-C ratio decreased significantly by late follow-up. At final evaluation, median LDL-C had decreased to 3.4 mmol/L (IQR:2.8–4.2). No patient had statins discontinued for safety measures or symptoms. Conclusions: In real-world clinical practice, intermediate-term statin treatment is effective and safe in children and adolescents with severe LDL-C elevation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)473-482
Number of pages10
JournalCJC Open
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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