Objective: This study sought to determine if the initiation of statin (HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor) therapy during acute coronary syndromes reduces long-term mortality and other adverse cardiac outcomes. Background: Initiation of statin therapy during acute coronary syndromes has not been shown to reduce mortality, myocardial infarction or stroke within 4 months of follow-up. Methods: Clinical trials that randomized patients with acute coronary syndromes to early statin therapy compared with less intensive lipid reduction (placebo/lower-dose statin/usual care), and reported long-term outcomes were included for analysis. Results: In all, there were seven studies (L-CAD, PTT, FLORIDA, Colivicchi et al., PROVE-IT, ESTABLISH, and A-to-Z) with 9553 patients who started statin therapy within 12 days of hospital presentation. The incidence of all-cause mortality was 3.4% in the statin group versus 4.6% in the less intensive lipid reduction group over a weighted mean follow-up of 22.9 months (relative risk [RR] 0.74; 95% CI 0.61, 0.90; p = 0.003). The number of patients needed to treat to prevent one death was 84 patients. Similarly, the incidence of cardiovascular mortality in the statin versus the less intensive lipid reduction group was 2.4% versus 3.3% (RR 0.74; 95% CI 0.58, 0.93; p = 0.010), unstable angina 4.1% versus 5.0% (RR 0.81; 95% CI 0.68, 0.98; p = 0.027), revascularization 11.2% versus 12.9% (RR 0.86; 95% CI 0.78, 0.96; p = 0.006), stroke 1.1% versus 1.2% (RR 0.90; 95% CI 0.62, 1.30; p = 0.56), and myocardial infarction 6.6% versus 7.0% (RR 0.94; 95% CI 0.81, 1.09; p = 0.41). Conclusions: The benefit of early initiation of statin therapy during acute coronary syndromes slowly accrues over time so that a survival advantage is seen around 24 months. Relatively few patients need to be treated to prevent one death over this time period. Furthermore, this approach significantly reduces unstable angina and the need for revascularization.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Pharmacology (medical)