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Comparison of Low-Dose Statin Versus Low-Dose Statin + Armolipid Plus in High-Intensity Statin-Intolerant Patients With a Previous Coronary Event and Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (ADHERENCE Trial)

      Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) reduction is associated with a significant decrease in mortality, and statins represent the most effective drugs to achieve this. However, side effects of statins are very common and may lead to treatment discontinuation. Nutraceuticals are a combination of natural components that have shown efficacy in lowering LDL-C concentration when used alone or in association with other agents in patients who are intolerant to high-dose statins. Our aim was to compare the efficacy and tolerability of low-dose statin (LDS) therapy versus combined therapy of LDS plus a nutraceutical combination containing red yeast rice, policosanol, berberine, folic acid, coenzyme Q10 and astaxanthin (Armolipid Plus) in high-risk patients. We performed a randomized (1:1), prospective, parallel group, single-blind trial in which participants had coronary artery disease (n = 100), had undergone percutaneous coronary intervention in the preceding 12 months, were high-dose statin intolerant, and did not achieve ≥50% reduction in LDL-C with LDS treatment alone. After 3 months, patients in the LDS + Armolipid Plus (n = 50) group presented with a significantly greater reduction of LDL-C and total cholesterol (p <0.0001), and 70% of patients in this group achieved the therapeutic target (LDL-C <70 mg/dl), whereas patients in the LDS group did not. Six patients (3 from each group) dropped out due to myalgia. In conclusion, in patients with coronary artery disease and high-dose statin intolerance, the combination of LDS and nutraceuticals represents a valuable therapeutic option.
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