Achieving LDL cholesterol, non-HDL cholesterol, and apolipoprotein B target levels in high-risk patients: Measuring Effective Reductions in Cholesterol Using Rosuvastatin therapY (MERCURY) II

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Abstract

Background

National Cholestesrol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III guidelines for patients at a high risk of coronary heart disease set a low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) target of <100 mg/dL. This target can be difficult to attain with diet and current therapy.

Methods

In a 16-week multinational trial, 1993 high-risk patients were randomized to rosuvastatin 20 mg, atorvastatin 10 mg, atorvastatin 20 mg, simvastatin 20 mg, or simvastatin 40 mg for 8 weeks. Patients either remained on starting treatment or switched to lower or milligram-equivalent doses of rosuvastatin for 8 more weeks.

Results

At 16 weeks, more patients achieved their LDL-C target by switching to rosuvastatin 10 mg than staying on atorvastatin 10 mg (66% vs 42%, P < .001) or simvastatin 20 mg (73% vs 32%, P < .001). Changing to rosuvastatin 20 mg brought more patients to their LDL-C target than staying on atorvastatin 20 mg (79% vs 64%, P < .001) or simvastatin 40 mg (84% vs 56%, P < .001). More very high risk patients achieved an LDL-C target of <70 mg/dL when changed to rosuvastatin from atorvastatin or simvastatin (within-arm comparisons P < .01). More hypertriglyceridemic patients (triglycerides ≥200 mg/dL) met LDL-C, non–high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (non–HDL-C), and apolipoprotein B targets by changing to rosuvastatin. Switching to rosuvastatin produced greater reductions in LDL-C, total cholesterol, non–HDL-C, apolipoprotein B, and lipid ratios. All treatments were well tolerated, with no differences among treatment groups in skeletal muscle, hepatic, or renal toxicity.

Conclusion

Rosuvastatin 10 or 20 mg is an effective and safe therapeutic option for high-risk patients to achieve their lipid and apolipoprotein targets.

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