Background: Current data suggest patients who have a myocardial infarction (MI) benefit from aggressive LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) lowering. Consequently, initiation of lipid lowering therapy is a class I recommendation post-MI to reduce the risk of future adverse events. We sought to evaluate LDL-C lowering among patients who experience a first MI at a young age.
Methods: Clinical & billing data were used to identify women < 50 years and men < 45 years who had a first MI from two large medical centers. Type of MI was adjudicated by review of medical records, and only patients with a Type 1 MI were included. The magnitude of LDL-C reduction was calculated by comparing the LDL-C pre-MI to the LDL-C one year later.
Results: 280 patients (age 42 years ± 5; 35% women) with a complete lipid panel prior to MI and 1 year post-MI were included in this analysis. The mean LDL-C was 123 mg/dL pre-MI, and 82 mg/dL post-MI (p<0.0001). In the entire population, the mean reduction in LDL-C post MI was 27% (95% CI, -32% to -23%), although men had a greater reduction than women (32% vs. 16%, p<0.001). When examining the post-MI LDL-C levels, 214 (76%) reached an LDL-C of <100 mg/dL and 115 (41%) reached an LDL-C of <70 mg/dL. Out of patients who had LDL-C>130mg/dL pre-MI (n=114), 82 (71%) reached an LDL-C of <100 mg/dL, and 35 (30%) reached an LDL-C of <70 mg/dL. Notably, 54 (19%) patients had an LDL-C increase at one year.
Conclusions: Among patients experiencing MI at a young age, LDL-C reduction was only modest (27% reduction). Women had a significantly smaller reduction in LDL-C compared with men. Further research is needed to determine the underlying reasons for the sub-optimal reduction in LDL-C, as well as sex specific differences that may account for these disparities.