We previously recommended that LDL cholesterol lowering therapy be based on the risk for (recurrent) coronary events, rather than on arbitrary targets for serum LDL cholesterol concentration. We also recommended refraining from therapy with ezetimibe until its efficacy in preventing cardiovascular events had been documented. At the American Heart Association scientific sessions 2014 the results of the IMPROVE-IT study were reported. In this large, randomised trial, a modest benefit of the combination of simvastatin plus ezetimibe over simvastatin alone was reported after 7 years of treatment. The efficacy of such combination therapy was similar to the efficacy of high-dose statin therapy, while the combination therapy is much more expensive. Comparing the efficacy and costs of different preventive therapies, we recommend first prescribing aspirin and a moderate dose of statin, secondly an ACE inhibitor. A high-dose statin should be considered in high-risk patients. The combination of simvastatin and ezetimibe should be prescribed only in high-risk patients (e.g. diabetics after myocardial infarction) who do not tolerate high-dose statins.

Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Simoons, M., & Deckers, J. (2015). LDL cholesterol lowering therapy: No target value but personalised treatment. Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde (Vol. 159). Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/89451