Pooled Analyses of Effects on C-Reactive Protein and Low Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol in Placebo-Controlled Trials of Ezetimibe Monotherapy or Ezetimibe Added to Baseline Statin Therapy
Inflammation is associated with coronary artery disease (CAD), and statins reduce the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein (CRP). The effects of ezetimibe, alone or in combination with statins, on CRP and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol were examined in 2 pooled analyses of randomized, placebo-controlled trials of ezetimibe 10 mg/day in patients with hypercholesterolemia: 6 12-week trials as monotherapy (n = 1,372) and 7 6- to 8-week trials as add-on to baseline statin therapy (n = 3,899). Mean percentage changes from baseline in CRP and LDL cholesterol were examined using analysis of variance in patients with CRP ≤10 mg/L. Effects within subgroups (age, gender, race, body mass index, diabetes mellitus, metabolic syndrome, CAD, baseline CRP or lipids, and statin potency) and correlations between CRP and LDL cholesterol were also examined. Reduction in CRP by ezetimibe monotherapy was numerically greater than with placebo (treatment difference 6%, p = 0.09). Added to statin therapy, ezetimibe was associated with a significant additional reduction in CRP (treatment difference 10%, p <0.001). Treatment effects were generally consistent across subgroups for the 2 analyses. With monotherapy and add-on to statin therapy, LDL cholesterol reduction with ezetimibe was significantly greater than with placebo (treatment differences -19% and -23%, respectively, p <0.001). Spearman's correlation coefficients among baseline values and percentage changes from baseline in CRP and LDL cholesterol ranged from -0.007% to 0.13%. In conclusion, the addition of ezetimibe to statin treatment provides significantly enhanced CRP reductions over and above those achieved with statin monotherapy. Correlations between changes in CRP and changes in LDL cholesterol were weakly positive and significant only when ezetimibe was added to statin treatment. The effects of ezetimibe monotherapy are not well defined. The effects of ezetimibe on CRP were consistent across patient subgroups.
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