2018 Volume 59 Issue 2 Pages 315-320
Large-scale clinical trials in patients in Western countries with coronary artery disease (CAD) have found that aggressive lipid-lowering therapy using high-dose statins reduces cardiovascular (CV) events further than low-dose statins. However, such evidence has not yet been fully established in Asian populations, including in Japan. The Randomized Evaluation of Aggressive or Moderate Lipid-Lowering Therapy with Pitavastatin in Coronary Artery Disease (REAL-CAD) study addresses whether intensification of statin therapy improves clinical outcomes in Japanese patients with CAD.
REAL-CAD is a prospective, multicenter, randomized, open-label, blinded-endpoint, physician-initiated phase 4 trial in Japan. The study will recruit up to 12,600 patients with stable CAD. Patients are assigned to receive either pitavastatin 1 mg/day or pitavastatin 4 mg/day. LDL-C levels are expected to reach approximate mean values of 100 mg/dL in the low-dose pitavastatin group and 80 mg/dL in the high-dose group. The primary endpoint is the time to occurrence of a major CV event, including CV death, non-fatal myocardial infarction, non-fatal ischemic stroke, and unstable angina requiring emergency hospitalization during an average of 5 years. The large number of patients and the long follow-up period in the REAL-CAD study should ensure that there is adequate power to definitively determine if reducing LDL-C levels to approximately 80 mg/dL by high-dose statin can provide additional clinical benefit.
After the study is completed, we will have categorical evidence on the optimal statin dose and target LDL-C level for secondary prevention in Japanese patients.