2008 Volume 15 Issue 6 Pages 292-303
Aim: The POSITIVE study assessed whether long-term treatment with probucol. a potent anti-oxidant and cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) activator is associated with a lowered risk of cardiovascular events in a very high-risk population: familial hypercholesterolemia (FH).
Methods: The study cohort included 410 patients with heterozygous FH, diagnosed between 1984 and 1999 by cardiovascular and metabolic experts at fifteen centers. Traceable patients were screened using predefined eligibility criteria. The primary outcome measure for comparison between probucol exposure and non-exposure was the time to the first cardiovascular event involving hospitalization.
Results: Analysis revealed significant differences in baseline characteristics and follow-up treatment between exposure and non-exposure. An observed indication bias was the use of probucol in more severe FH at diagnosis, both for primary and secondary prevention. When the multivariate Cox regression procedure was used after adjustment for possible confounding factors, probucol lowered the risk (hazard ratio [HR], 0.13; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.050.34) in secondary prevention (n=74) and was statistically significant (p<0.001), although not significant (HR, 1.5; 95% CI, 0.484.67; p=0.49) in primary prevention (n=233). Safety assessment found no specific difference between exposure and non-exposure.
Conclusion: Long-term probucol treatment may prevent secondary attack in a higher cardiovascular risk population of heterozygous FH.