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עמוד בית
Sun, 25.02.24

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May 2008
M. Shani, J. Dresner, and S. Vinker.

Background: The introduction of more potent statins such as atorvastatin and rosuvastatin in Israel was accompanied by massive advertising about their superiority.

Objectives: To assess the need for switching therapy from older statins to more potent ones among diabetic patients with uncontrolled hypercholesterolemia.

Methods: Data on all diabetic patients over 30 years old attending two urban clinics were extracted and analyzed. For each patient we checked the last low density lipoprotein-cholesterol measurements for the year 2006, the brand and the dose of cholesterol-lowering medications, prescriptions and actual purchasing over a 4 month period prior to the last LDL-C[1] measurement, and whether treatment changes were necessary to achieve the LDL-C target (100 mg/dl or 70 mg/dl).

Results: The study population comprised 630 patients, age 66.7 ± 12.6 years, of whom 338 (53.6%) were women. Of the 533 (84.6%) patients whose LDL-C was measured in 2006, 45 (8.1%) had levels < 70 mg/dl and 184 (33.3%) had levels of 70 mg/dl < LDL-C < 100 m/dl.  The reasons for LDL-C > 100 mg/dl were patients not prescribed cholesterol-lowering drugs (38.3%), partial compliance (27.2%), and under-dosage of statins (15.4%); only 7.7% needed to switch to a more potent statin. Reasons for LDL-C > 70 mg/dl were patients not prescribed cholesterol-lowering drugs (34.3%), partial compliance (22.0%), and under-dosage of statins (26.6%); only 8.7% needed to switch to a more potent statin.

Conclusions: Only a small minority of diabetic patients with uncontrolled hypercholesterolemia need one of the potent statins as the next treatment step. More emphasis on compliance and dose adjustment is needed to achieve the target LDL-C level.






[1] LDL-C = low density lipoprotein-cholesterol


June 2002
Eyal Leibovitz, MD, Dror Harats, MD and Dov Gavish, MD

Background: Hyperlipidemia is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease. Reducing low density lipoprotein-cholesterol can significantly reduce the risk of CHD[1], but many patients fail to reach the target LDL-C[2] goals due to low doses of statins or low compliance.

Objectives: To treat high risk patients with atorvastatin in order to reach LDL-C goals (either primary or secondary prevention) of the Israel Atherosclerosis Society.

Methods: In this open-label study of 3,276 patients (1,698 of whom were males, 52%), atorvastatin 10 mg was given as a first dose, with follow-up and adjustment of the dose every 6 weeks. While 1,670 patients did not receive prior hypolipidemic treatment, 1,606 were treated with other statins, fibrates or the combination of both.

Results: After 6 weeks of treatment, 70% of the patients who did not receive prior hypolipidemic medications and who needed primary prevention reached target LDL-C levels. Interestingly, a similar number of patients on prior hypolipidemic treatment reached the LDL-C goals for primary prevention. The patients treated with other statins, fibrates or both did not reach the LDL-C treatment goals. Only 34% of all patients who needed secondary prevention reached the ISA[3] LDL-C target of 100 mg/dl. Atorvastatin proved to be completely safe; only two patients had creatine kinase elevation above 500 U/L, and another six had mild CK[4] elevation (<500 U/L). None of the patients had clinical myopathy, and only one had to be withdrawn from the study.

Conclusion: Atorvastatin is a safe and effective drug that enables most patients requiring primary prevention to reach LDL-C goal levels, even with a low dose of 10 mg. Patients in need of secondary prevention usually require higher doses of statins.

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[1] CHD = coronary heart disease


[2] LDL-C = low density lipoprotein-cholesterol


[3] ISA = Israel Atherosclerosis Society


[4] CK = creatine kinase




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