The comparative effectiveness of rosuvastatin vs. other statins in patients with an increased risk of failure to reach NCEP ATP III goal

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Previous studies have demonstrated that failure to reach National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) target low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) goal increases the risk of cardiovascular events. Ability to meet goal may be impacted by the choice of statin therapy.


This study compares rosuvastatin to other statin therapies among patients presenting with risk factors associated with failure to reach NCEP goal.


Retrospective analysis using medical and pharmacy claims linked to laboratory results from a national health plan encompassing private and MedicareAdvantage enrollees age ≥ 18 years and newly treated with statins from 1 August 2003 to 28 February 2005. Predictors of failure to reach goal were statin treatment group, age, gender, NCEP risk level, per cent reduction required to attain goal and days from index to LDL-C measurement.


Of 11,814 eligible patients, 9.6% were initiated on rosuvastatin, 54.2% atorvastatin, 17.9% simvastatin, 7.1% pravastatin, 2.0% fluvastatin and 9.3% lovastatin. Independent predictors of failure to reach goal included ≥ 15% LDL-C reduction required to reach goal, and high and moderate NCEP risk status. In the subset of patients at higher risk of failure to reach goal, rosuvastatin demonstrated a significantly lower rate of failure to achieve goal than atorvastatin, simvastatin, pravastatin, fluvastatin or lovastatin.


Real-world factors associated with high risk of failure to reach goal may be used in identifying patients more likely to succeed on rosuvastatin compared with other statins. Low-risk patients needing < 15% LDL-C reduction would be suitable candidates for initiation of most other statins, specifically simvastatin, which has recently become available in the generic form.

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