Smith, C. S., Cannon, C. P., McCabe, C. H., Murphy, S. A., Bentley, J., Braunwald, E. Early initiation of lipid-lowering therapy for acute coronary syndromes improves compliance with guideline recommendations: observations from the Orbofiban in Patients with Unstable Coronary Syndromes (OPUS-TIMI 16) trial Am Heart J. 2005;149(3):444-50.

BACKGROUND: Lipid-lowering is effective in the prevention of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in patients with coronary artery disease, but effective strategies for improving the implementation of these therapies are needed.

METHODS: In the 10,288 patients in the OPUS-TIMI 16 trial, patients were stratified by use of lipid-lowering therapy during index hospitalization and were compared for use of lipid-lowering therapy at follow-up as well as for clinical outcomes.

RESULTS: Lipid-lowering therapy was used in 38% of patients during the index hospitalization, of which 94% were statins. At 10 months, 88% of patients who were discharged on lipid-lowering medications remained on these drugs. Conversely, only 34% of patients not discharged on lipid-lowering medications were receiving them at 10 months. Forty-one percent of patients with prior history of hyperlipidemia requiring treatment were not discharged on lipid-lowering therapy, and of these, only 51% were subsequently started on a lipid-lowering medication as an outpatient despite clear indications. Patients treated as inpatients with lipid-lowering therapy had a lower mortality rate at 10 months adjusted by propensity analysis (3.1% vs 5.1%, P < .0001) than patients not treated with lipid-lowering therapy.

CONCLUSION: In patients with acute coronary syndromes, the initiation of lipid-lowering therapy in the inpatient setting increases the rate of its subsequent use at 10 months, making this an important method of ensuring appropriate secondary prevention.

Trial: OPUS-TIMI 16