Cardiovascular disease, including conditions like heart attacks and strokes, poses a significant threat to individuals at very high risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.
Maintaining low levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) is essential to prevent disease recurrence and related deaths. Statin drug therapy is a common approach to lowering LDL-C by inhibiting its production in the liver.
However, high-dose statin therapy can lead to adverse effects, making long-term administration challenging and safety a top priority.
The Challenge of Cardiovascular Disease in Korea
Korea is experiencing a rise in cardiovascular diseases, attributed in part to the adoption of Westernized diets.
This has led to an increase in the number of individuals at high risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, emphasizing the urgency of effective treatments for this population.
These individuals are more prone to severe vascular occlusive diseases due to underlying health conditions and widespread arteriosclerosis.
The Study and Its Focus
The research team investigated the effectiveness of combining moderate-intensity statin therapy with ezetimibe compared to high-intensity statin monotherapy in 1,511 patients at very high risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.
These high-risk patients had a history of conditions such as myocardial infarction, peripheral artery disease, and high blood pressure.
Results and Key Findings
The study’s findings revealed that the combination therapy achieved a greater reduction in LDL-C levels, with the combination therapy arm showing an average LDL-C level of 57mg/dL, compared to 65mg/dL in the monotherapy arm.
The complication incidence, including heart failure, myocardial infarction, and cerebral infarction, was 11.2% in the combination therapy arm, similar to the 11.7% observed in the monotherapy arm.
The study highlighted a crucial aspect of treatment—medication tolerance and patient compliance.
The combination therapy arm exhibited a lower rate of discontinuation, at 4.6%, compared to 7.7% in the monotherapy arm. This result underscores the advantage of combination therapy in terms of sustaining continuous medication dosages.
Conclusion: A Promising Path Forward for Cardiovascular Disease Treatment
In patients at very high risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, effectively reducing LDL-C levels is essential. This study not only demonstrated the efficacy of combination therapy but also highlighted its safety and potential to improve patient compliance.
Ensuring patients receive uninterrupted treatment is vital for successful disease management.
With the confirmation of combination therapy’s benefits, medical specialists can explore new treatment avenues and offer improved options to patients at very high risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, ultimately contributing to better health outcomes and enhanced disease management.
The research team remains committed to further research and expanding the application of this therapy to benefit even more patients.
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The research findings can be found in JAMA Cardiology.
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