Effect of Statin Treatment in Patients With Advanced Carotid Atherosclerosis: An Observational Outcome Study

Ansgar Adams, Waldemar Bojara, Michel Romanens

Abstract


Background: Advanced atherosclerosis of the carotid artery is associated with a high risk of cardiovascular disease. The aim of the study was to investigate whether treatment with statins improved the prognosis.

Methods: Sum of all plaque areas (total plaque area (TPA)) and the maximum plaque thickness were determined in healthy subjects using ultrasound. We compared the outcome in subjects with advanced atherosclerosis of the carotid artery (type III-IV b finding) with and without statin treatment. The follow-up was recorded during follow-up examinations as part of preventive occupational health examinations or by personal communication.

Results: In 7,106 subjects aged 35 - 65 years (50 ± 8 years, 43% women), we found 669 subjects with advanced atherosclerosis of the carotid artery (type III-IV b finding). A follow-up was available for 640 (95.4%) subjects. In these subjects (54 ± 8 years, 20.4% women), 94 (88 men) had cardiovascular events (35 myocardial infarctions, 13 bypass operations, 32 stent implantations, and 14 strokes) with a mean follow-up time of 3.9 (1 - 12) years. Two hundred sixty subjects were treated with a statin, while 339 received no statin. Fourteen cardiovascular events occurred in the treated group (eight stent implantations, two heart attacks, two bypass operations, and two strokes). In the untreated group, 80 cardiovascular events occurred (12 strokes, 11 bypass operations, 33 heart attacks, and 24 stent implantations). The event rate was 5.4% for the subjects treated with a statin and 23.6% for the untreated subjects. Both groups were well matched for the baseline presence of cardiovascular risk factors.

Conclusion: Statin treatment in subjects with advanced atherosclerosis of the carotid artery (type III-IV b finding on ultrasound) significantly improves the prognosis in a non-randomized observational cohort study.




Cardiol Res. 2021;12(6):335-339
doi: https://doi.org/10.14740/cr1318

Keywords


Total plaque area; Carotid ultrasound; Cardiovascular risk; Coronary disease

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