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Large variation in LDL control between statins

By Emma Wilkinson

Patients with type 2 diabetes taking atorvastatin have far more stable LDL-cholesterol levels than those taking simvastatin, a UK study shows.

Taking direct measurements on 10 occasions over a five-week period, the team from Hull York Medical School found no difference in mean LDL-cholesterol between statins.

But in all 26 patients, directly measured LDL varied by as much as 20% with simvastatin 40mg compared with 2% for atorvastatin 10mg.

The researchers said the findings, which could be explained by the longer half life of atorvastatin, had real clinical implications for reaching cholesterol targets.

‘This means LDL targets can be consistently met with less lipid monitoring using atorvastatin rather than simvastatin,’ they concluded.

Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, 2010;12:540-44

Large variation in LDL control between statins