Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Suboptimal Statin Response & Future Risk of CVD

Over half of patients in the general population initiated on statin therapy did not achieve optimal lowering of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), and these patients experience significantly increased risk of future cardiovascular disease (CVD), a new study found. The cohort study included 165,411 primary care patients who were free of CVD before statin initiation, had at least 1 pre-treatment LDL-C within 12 months before, and 1 post-treatment LDL-C within 24 months after statin initiation. Researchers found:

  • 84,606 (51.2%) patients had suboptimal LDL-C response to initiated statin therapy within 24 months.
  • During 1,077,299 person-years of follow-up, there were 22,798 CVD events.
  • In sub-optimal responders and compared with optimal responders, the hazard ratio (HR) for incident CVD was 1.17 and 1.22 after adjusting for age and baseline untreated LDL-C.


Akyea RK, Kai J, Qureshi N, Iyen B, Weng SF. Sub-optimal cholesterol response to initiation of statins and future risk of cardiovascular disease. [Published online ahead of print April 15, 2019]. Heart. doi:10.1136/heartjnl-2018-314253.