Cannon, C. P., Steinberg, B. A., Murphy, S. A., Mega, J. L., Braunwald, E. Meta-analysis of cardiovascular outcomes trials comparing intensive versus moderate statin therapy J Am Coll Cardiol. 2006;48(3):438-45.

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to conduct a meta-analysis that compares the reduction of cardiovascular outcomes with high-dose statin therapy versus standard dosing.

BACKGROUND: Debate exists regarding the merit of more intensive lipid lowering with high-dose statin therapy as compared with standard-dose therapy.

METHODS: We searched PubMed and article references for randomized controlled trials of intensive versus standard-dose statin therapy enrolling more than 1,000 patients with either stable coronary heart disease or acute coronary syndromes. Four trials were identified: the TNT (Treating to New Targets) and the IDEAL (Incremental Decrease in End Points Through Aggressive Lipid-Lowering) trials involved patients with stable cardiovascular disease, and the PROVE IT-TIMI-22 (Pravastatin or Atorvastatin Evaluation and Infection Therapy-Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction-22) and A-to-Z (Aggrastat-to-Zocor) trials involved patients with acute coronary syndromes. We carried out a meta-analysis of the relative odds on the basis of a fixed-effects model using the Mantel-Haenszel method for the major outcomes of death and cardiovascular events.

RESULTS: A total of 27,548 patients were enrolled in the 4 large trials. The combined analysis yielded a significant 16% odds reduction in coronary death or myocardial infarction (p < 0.00001), as well as a significant 16% odds reduction of coronary death or any cardiovascular event (p < 0.00001). No difference was observed in total or non-cardiovascular mortality, but a trend toward decreased cardiovascular mortality (odds reduction 12%, p = 0.054) was observed.

CONCLUSIONS: Intensive lipid lowering with high-dose statin therapy provides a significant benefit over standard-dose therapy for preventing predominantly non-fatal cardiovascular events.