Impact of Adding Ezetimibe to Statin to Achieve Low-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol Goal (from the Clinical Outcomes Utilizing Revascularization and Aggressive Drug Evaluation [COURAGE] Trial) AMERICAN JOURNAL OF CARDIOLOGY Maron, D. J., Hartigan, P. M., Neff, D. R., Weintraub, W. S., Boden, W. E. 2013; 111 (11): 1557-1562


In the Clinical Outcomes Utilizing Revascularization and Aggressive Drug Evaluation (COURAGE) study, a revascularization strategy trial with optimal medical therapy in both arms, the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol goal was 60 to 85 mg/dl; this was revised to <70 mg/dl in 2004. COURAGE patients (n = 2,287) were titrated with increasing statin doses to achieve the initial LDL cholesterol goal using a prespecified protocol. Ezetimibe was not available when study enrollment began in 1999 but became available after approval in 2003. After maximizing statin dose, ezetimibe was added to reach the LDL cholesterol goal in 34% of patients (n = 734). Median baseline LDL cholesterol was higher in patients who received ezetimibe than in those who did not (109 vs 96 mg/dl). At baseline, 18% of patients who would later receive ezetimibe had LDL cholesterol <85 mg/dl, and 8% had LDL cholesterol <70 mg/dl. On maximum tolerated statin (with or without other lipid-lowering drugs), 40% had LDL cholesterol <85 mg/dl and 23% had LDL cholesterol <70 mg/dl before starting ezetimibe. At the final study visit, 68% of ezetimibe patients achieved LDL cholesterol <85 mg/dl, and 46% achieved LDL cholesterol <70 mg/dl. Using Cox regression analysis, the most significant factors associated with achieving LDL cholesterol goals were lower baseline LDL cholesterol, average statin dose, and ezetimibe use. In conclusion, after maximizing statin dose, the addition of ezetimibe results in a substantial increase in the percentage of patients who reach LDL cholesterol goal, a key component of optimal medical therapy.

View details for DOI 10.1016/j.amjcard.2013.02.005

View details for Web of Science ID 000319892100004

View details for PubMedID 23538020