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The B1B1 variant of the cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) TaqIB polymorphism and high plasma CETP concentrations are associated with favourable angiographic outcomes in pravastatin-treated patients suffering from coronary artery disease (CAD). The purpose of the present study was to test whether CETP TaqIB genotypes and/or plasma CETP concentrations at baseline also predict clinical end-points in patients with CAD.Prospective longitudinal observational study.Primary care doctors (n = 88) and hospitals (n = 7) in Austria.A total of 1620 men and women with preexisting CAD were recruited and plasma lipids were determined at study entry. 1389 hypercholesterolaemic patients were included and 1002 patients completed the follow-up.In all patients treatment with pravastatin was started and patients were followed up for 2 years.Cardiovascular events.One hundred patients suffered at least one cardiovascular event. We observed significantly more events in patients within the lowest compared with the highest quartile of plasma CETP concentrations (odds ratio 3.20, CI95 1.65–6.23; P = 0.001, adjusted for known risk factors of CAD). No significantly different numbers of cardiovascular events were found between CETP TaqIB genotypes.Plasma CETP concentrations, but not CETP TaqIB genotypes, predict cardiovascular events in patients with CAD treated with pravastatin. Despite higher LDL cholesterol concentrations, high plasma CETP concentrations at baseline are associated with fewer cardiovascular events compared with low plasma CETP concentrations in CAD patients treated with pravastatin.