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Are statins created equal? Evidence from randomized trials of pravastatin, simvastatin, and atorvastatin for cardiovascular disease prevention



Are statins created equal? Evidence from randomized trials of pravastatin, simvastatin, and atorvastatin for cardiovascular disease prevention



American Heart Journal 151(2): 273-281



The relative efficacy of different statins for long-term cardiovascular prevention remains largely undetermined. Using adjusted indirect comparison, we compared 3 statins (pravastatin, simvastatin, and atorvastatin) based on published randomized placebo-controlled trials for long-term cardiovascular prevention. A systematic literature search between 1980 and 2004 was conducted. Randomized placebo-controlled trials of the 3 statins, which studied cardiovascular diseases or death as the outcome, enrolled > or = 1000 participants, and had > or = 1-year follow-up, were included. Trials were grouped according to the statin under study. A pooled relative risk (RR) was derived from each set of trials using a random-effects model. Adjusted indirect comparisons using pooled RRs were made between statins with regard to prespecified clinical outcomes. Eight placebo-controlled trials met the inclusion criteria, including 4 pravastatin trials (n = 25,572), 2 simvastatin trials (n = 24,980), and 2 atorvastatin trials (n = 13,143). All trials had a similar degree of lipid reduction. Graphical and statistical assessments showed minimal heterogeneity in the trials' effect sizes. Adjusted indirect comparisons did not reveal a statistically significant difference between statins in reducing fatal coronary heart disease and nonfatal myocardial infarctions (simvastatin vs pravastatin: RR 0.93 [95% CI 0.84-1.03]; atorvastatin vs simvastatin: RR 0.84 [95% CI 0.66-1.08]; atorvastatin vs pravastatin: RR 0.79 [95% CI 0.61-1.02]). We were unable to detect differences either in outcomes for fatal and nonfatal strokes, all cardiovascular deaths, and all-cause mortality. Evidence from published statin randomized placebo-controlled trials suggests that pravastatin, simvastatin, and atorvastatin, when used at their standard dosages, show no statistically significant difference in their effect on long-term cardiovascular prevention.

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Accession: 011778017

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 16442888

DOI: 10.1016/j.ahj.2005.04.003


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