Aim: Some randomized studies have shown a delay of up to a few years in the statin-related survival advantage, whereas others have demonstrated an early survival benefit for some patients. We examined the short-term effects of statins in patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS), stratified according to baseline LDL-C.
Methods: Patients with ACS (n=180) were randomized to receive 6 months of atorvastatin (20 mg) in the Extended-ESTABLISH trial. Six months after ACS onset, all patients were treated with statins to achieve an LDL-C value of < 100 mg/dL. Patient outcomes were analyzed with respect to LDL-C at the time of ACS onset: high baseline (100 mg/dL, n=124) or low baseline (< 100 mg/dL, n=56) LDL-C.
Results: The cumulative incidence rates of major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular events (MACCE) did not significantly differ between the early-statin and control groups in the high baseline groups at 6 months (p=0.158), whereas a significant benefit of early intensive statins appeared 1 year (p=0.034) later. In contrast, we found no significant short-term benefits of statins after either 6 months or 1 year in the low baseline group. Multivariate analysis showed that early intensive atorvastatin therapy was associated with a lower risk of MACCE at 1 year in the high baseline group (OR, 0.25; 95% CI, 0.05 to 0.83; p=0.035).
Conclusions: The effects of 6 months of intensive lipid-lowering therapy appear after 1 year in patients with ACS and baseline LDL-C >100 mg/dL.