Effects of Fenofibric Acid on Carotid Intima-Media Thickness in Patients With Mixed Dyslipidemia on Atorvastatin Therapy: Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study (FIRST)

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To assess whether adding a fibrate to statin therapy reduces residual cardiovascular risk associated with elevated triglycerides and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, The Evaluation of Choline Fenofibrate (ABT-335) on Carotid Intima-Media Thickness (cIMT) in Subjects with Type IIb Dyslipidemia with Residual Risk in Addition to Atorvastatin Therapy (FIRST) trial evaluated the effects of fenofibric acid (FA) treatment on cIMT in patients with mixed dyslipidemia on atorvastatin.

Approach and Results—

This multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was performed in patients with mixed dyslipidemia (fasting triglycerides, ≥150 mg/dL; high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, ≤45 [men] or 55 mg/dL [women]; low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, ≤100 mg/dL once and averaging ≤105 mg/dL) and a history of coronary heart disease or risk equivalent. Patients on background atorvastatin (continued on starting dose or titrated to 40 mg, if needed) were randomized to FA 135 mg or placebo. The primary end point was rate of change from baseline through week 104 of the mean posterior-wall cIMT, measured by ultrasound. In patients with controlled low-density lipoprotein cholesterol while on atorvastatin background therapy, rate of change in posterior-wall cIMT was similar with FA plus atorvastatin (−0.006 mm/y) versus atorvastatin monotherapy (0.000 mm/y; P=0.22). FA plus atorvastatin was favored (P<0.05) in 5 of 24 prespecified subgroups: age ≥60 years, history of coronary artery disease, cIMT >0.795 mm, triglycerides 170 to 235 mg/dL, and statin use at entry. Adverse events were consistent with the known safety profiles of both drugs; however, FA plus atorvastatin was associated with a greater incidence of renal-related adverse events compared with atorvastatin monotherapy (6.5% versus 0.9%).


Compared with atorvastatin monotherapy, FA plus atorvastatin did not further decrease cIMT progression in high-risk patients with mixed dyslipidemia.

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