Usefulness of Statin–Ezetimibe Combination to Reduce the Care Gap in Dyslipidemia Management in Patients With a High Risk of Atherosclerotic Disease

      Lowering of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is a fundamental step in the comprehensive management of patients at high risk for cardiovascular events. The combination of a statin with ezetimibe usually provides additional LDL cholesterol lowering compared to statin monotherapy. This open-label observational study evaluated the impact of a 26-week treatment program with uptitration of statin dosages and incorporation of ezetimibe 10 mg therapy in 2,577 men and women (median age 64 years) with hypercholesterolemia and an LDL cholesterol level >2.5 mmol/L (97 mg/dl). Attainment of an LDL cholesterol target of 2.5 mmol/L (97 mg/dl) increased with consecutive visits (63%, 67%, and 71% at the second, third, and final visits, respectively). Current guideline-recommended LDL cholesterol value <2.0 mmol/L (77 mg/dl) was achieved by 36%, 40%, and 41% of the group at the same consecutive follow-up sessions. Median LDL cholesterol decreased from 3.0 mmol/L (116 mg/dl) at baseline to 2.1 mmol/L (81 mg/dl) at the end of the 26-week monitoring period. Favorable changes were concomitantly observed for median total cholesterol (5.1 to 4.1 mmol/L [197 to 159 mg/dl]), total cholesterol/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio (4.2 to 3.3), and triglyceride (1.6 to 1.4 mmol/L [142 to 124 mg/dl]). Of those who attended visit 4, 48% exhibited LDL cholesterol lowering of ≥1 mmol/L (39 mg/dl) compared to baseline levels. In conclusion, an algorithm-based statin uptitration/ezetimibe combination regimen is useful to increase LDL cholesterol lowering where statin monotherapy has not achieved target lipid values.
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