What is the target for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in patients with heart disease?
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Large published randomized controlled trials (RCTs) show that pravastatin and simvastatin are well-tolerated and reduce major coronary events such as death, myocardial infarction, and revascularization by about 25%. The Heart Protection Study suggested this benefit is noted even among individuals with pretreatment low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol of less than 100 mg/dL. Fluvastatin reduces major coronary events, but current studies are too small to prove reduced overall mortality. The best evidence to date suggests that most patients at significant risk for major coronary events should be given pravastatin or simvastatin 40 mg daily, without concern for the initial or follow-up LDL levels. (Grade of recommendation: A, based on large randomized trials.)
Journal of Family Practice, 51(10) 2002: 893.