Rivaroxaban with or without Aspirin in Stable Cardiovascular Disease

BACKGROUND

We evaluated whether rivaroxaban alone or in combination with aspirin would be more effective than aspirin alone for secondary cardiovascular prevention.

METHODS

In this double-blind trial, we randomly assigned 27,395 participants with stable atherosclerotic vascular disease to receive rivaroxaban (2.5 mg twice daily) plus aspirin (100 mg once daily), rivaroxaban (5 mg twice daily), or aspirin (100 mg once daily). The primary outcome was a composite of cardiovascular death, stroke, or myocardial infarction. The study was stopped for superiority of the rivaroxaban-plus-aspirin group after a mean follow-up of 23 months.

RESULTS

The primary outcome occurred in fewer patients in the rivaroxaban-plus-aspirin group than in the aspirin-alone group (379 patients [4.1%] vs. 496 patients [5.4%]; hazard ratio, 0.76; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.66 to 0.86; P<0.001; z=−4.126), but major bleeding events occurred in more patients in the rivaroxaban-plus-aspirin group (288 patients [3.1%] vs. 170 patients [1.9%]; hazard ratio, 1.70; 95% CI, 1.40 to 2.05; P<0.001). There was no significant difference in intracranial or fatal bleeding between these two groups. There were 313 deaths (3.4%) in the rivaroxaban-plus-aspirin group as compared with 378 (4.1%) in the aspirin-alone group (hazard ratio, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.71 to 0.96; P=0.01; threshold P value for significance, 0.0025). The primary outcome did not occur in significantly fewer patients in the rivaroxaban-alone group than in the aspirin-alone group, but major bleeding events occurred in more patients in the rivaroxaban-alone group.

CONCLUSIONS

Among patients with stable atherosclerotic vascular disease, those assigned to rivaroxaban (2.5 mg twice daily) plus aspirin had better cardiovascular outcomes and more major bleeding events than those assigned to aspirin alone. Rivaroxaban (5 mg twice daily) alone did not result in better cardiovascular outcomes than aspirin alone and resulted in more major bleeding events. (Funded by Bayer; COMPASS ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01776424.)

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Effects of Once-Weekly Exenatide on Cardiovascular Outcomes in Type 2 Diabetes

BACKGROUND

The cardiovascular effects of adding once-weekly treatment with exenatide to usual care in patients with type 2 diabetes are unknown.

METHODS

We randomly assigned patients with type 2 diabetes, with or without previous cardiovascular disease, to receive subcutaneous injections of extended-release exenatide at a dose of 2 mg or matching placebo once weekly. The primary composite outcome was the first occurrence of death from cardiovascular causes, nonfatal myocardial infarction, or nonfatal stroke. The coprimary hypotheses were that exenatide, administered once weekly, would be noninferior to placebo with respect to safety and superior to placebo with respect to efficacy.

RESULTS

In all, 14,752 patients (of whom 10,782 [73.1%] had previous cardiovascular disease) were followed for a median of 3.2 years (interquartile range, 2.2 to 4.4). A primary composite outcome event occurred in 839 of 7356 patients (11.4%; 3.7 events per 100 person-years) in the exenatide group and in 905 of 7396 patients (12.2%; 4.0 events per 100 person-years) in the placebo group (hazard ratio, 0.91; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.83 to 1.00), with the intention-to-treat analysis indicating that exenatide, administered once weekly, was noninferior to placebo with respect to safety (P<0.001 for noninferiority) but was not superior to placebo with respect to efficacy (P=0.06 for superiority). The rates of death from cardiovascular causes, fatal or nonfatal myocardial infarction, fatal or nonfatal stroke, hospitalization for heart failure, and hospitalization for acute coronary syndrome, and the incidence of acute pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer, medullary thyroid carcinoma, and serious adverse events did not differ significantly between the two groups.

CONCLUSIONS

Among patients with type 2 diabetes with or without previous cardiovascular disease, the incidence of major adverse cardiovascular events did not differ significantly between patients who received exenatide and those who received placebo. (Funded by Amylin Pharmaceuticals; EXSCEL ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01144338.)

Reference: N Engl J Med 2017; 377:1228-1239September 28, 2017

Effects of Anacetrapib in Patients with Atherosclerotic Vascular Disease

BACKGROUND

Patients with atherosclerotic vascular disease remain at high risk for cardiovascular events despite effective statin-based treatment of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels. The inhibition of cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) by anacetrapib reduces LDL cholesterol levels and increases high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels. However, trials of other CETP inhibitors have shown neutral or adverse effects on cardiovascular outcomes.

METHODS

We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial involving 30,449 adults with atherosclerotic vascular disease who were receiving intensive atorvastatin therapy and who had a mean LDL cholesterol level of 61 mg per deciliter (1.58 mmol per liter), a mean non-HDL cholesterol level of 92 mg per deciliter (2.38 mmol per liter), and a mean HDL cholesterol level of 40 mg per deciliter (1.03 mmol per liter). The patients were assigned to receive either 100 mg of anacetrapib once daily (15,225 patients) or matching placebo (15,224 patients). The primary outcome was the first major coronary event, a composite of coronary death, myocardial infarction, or coronary revascularization.

RESULTS

During the median follow-up period of 4.1 years, the primary outcome occurred in significantly fewer patients in the anacetrapib group than in the placebo group (1640 of 15,225 patients [10.8%] vs. 1803 of 15,224 patients [11.8%]; rate ratio, 0.91; 95% confidence interval, 0.85 to 0.97; P=0.004). The relative difference in risk was similar across multiple prespecified subgroups. At the trial midpoint, the mean level of HDL cholesterol was higher by 43 mg per deciliter (1.12 mmol per liter) in the anacetrapib group than in the placebo group (a relative difference of 104%), and the mean level of non-HDL cholesterol was lower by 17 mg per deciliter (0.44 mmol per liter), a relative difference of −18%. There were no significant between-group differences in the risk of death, cancer, or other serious adverse events.

CONCLUSIONS

Among patients with atherosclerotic vascular disease who were receiving intensive statin therapy, the use of anacetrapib resulted in a lower incidence of major coronary events than the use of placebo. (Funded by Merck and others; Current Controlled Trials number, ISRCTN48678192; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01252953; and EudraCT number, 2010-023467-18.)

Reference: N Engl J Med 2017; 377:1217-1227September 28, 2017

High-Intensity Statins Guideline Expectations and Clinical Application

There have been major advances in the understanding and management of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). Central to these was the discovery of the role of cholesterol-containing lipoprotein particles in the atherosclerotic process and the development of lipid-lowering agents, particularly statins. Despite substantial and consistent evidence to support a causal link between statin use and prevention of ASCVD events, there is still debate regarding the appropriate administration of statins, particularly with regard to primary prevention.

Reference: JAMA. 2017;317(24):2543-2544.

Development and validation of QRISK3 risk prediction algorithms to estimate future risk of cardiovascular disease: prospective cohort study

Objectives To develop and validate updated QRISK3 prediction algorithms to estimate the 10 year risk of cardiovascular disease in women and men accounting for potential new risk factors.

Design Prospective open cohort study.

Setting General practices in England providing data for the QResearch database.

Participants 1309 QResearch general practices in England: 981 practices were used to develop the scores and a separate set of 328 practices were used to validate the scores. 7.89 million patients aged 25-84 years were in the derivation cohort and 2.67 million patients in the validation cohort. Patients were free of cardiovascular disease and not prescribed statins at baseline.

Methods Cox proportional hazards models in the derivation cohort to derive separate risk equations in men and women for evaluation at 10 years. Risk factors considered included those already in QRISK2 (age, ethnicity, deprivation, systolic blood pressure, body mass index, total cholesterol: high density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio, smoking, family history of coronary heart disease in a first degree relative aged less than 60 years, type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, treated hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis, atrial fibrillation, chronic kidney disease (stage 4 or 5)) and new risk factors (chronic kidney disease (stage 3, 4, or 5), a measure of systolic blood pressure variability (standard deviation of repeated measures), migraine, corticosteroids, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), atypical antipsychotics, severe mental illness, and HIV/AIDs). We also considered erectile dysfunction diagnosis or treatment in men. Measures of calibration and discrimination were determined in the validation cohort for men and women separately and for individual subgroups by age group, ethnicity, and baseline disease status.

Main outcome measures Incident cardiovascular disease recorded on any of the following three linked data sources: general practice, mortality, or hospital admission records.

Results 363 565 incident cases of cardiovascular disease were identified in the derivation cohort during follow-up arising from 50.8 million person years of observation. All new risk factors considered met the model inclusion criteria except for HIV/AIDS, which was not statistically significant. The models had good calibration and high levels of explained variation and discrimination. In women, the algorithm explained 59.6% of the variation in time to diagnosis of cardiovascular disease (R2, with higher values indicating more variation), and the D statistic was 2.48 and Harrell’s C statistic was 0.88 (both measures of discrimination, with higher values indicating better discrimination). The corresponding values for men were 54.8%, 2.26, and 0.86. Overall performance of the updated QRISK3 algorithms was similar to the QRISK2 algorithms.

Conclusion Updated QRISK3 risk prediction models were developed and validated. The inclusion of additional clinical variables in QRISK3 (chronic kidney disease, a measure of systolic blood pressure variability (standard deviation of repeated measures), migraine, corticosteroids, SLE, atypical antipsychotics, severe mental illness, and erectile dysfunction) can help enable doctors to identify those at most risk of heart disease and stroke.

Reference: BMJ 2017;357:j2099

Evolocumab and Clinical Outcomes in Patients with Cardiovascular Disease

BACKGROUND

Evolocumab is a monoclonal antibody that inhibits proprotein convertase subtilisin–kexin type 9 (PCSK9) and lowers low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels by approximately 60%. Whether it prevents cardiovascular events is uncertain.

METHODS

We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial involving 27,564 patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and LDL cholesterol levels of 70 mg per deciliter (1.8 mmol per liter) or higher who were receiving statin therapy. Patients were randomly assigned to receive evolocumab (either 140 mg every 2 weeks or 420 mg monthly) or matching placebo as subcutaneous injections. The primary efficacy end point was the composite of cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, stroke, hospitalization for unstable angina, or coronary revascularization. The key secondary efficacy end point was the composite of cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, or stroke. The median duration of follow-up was 2.2 years.

RESULTS

At 48 weeks, the least-squares mean percentage reduction in LDL cholesterol levels with evolocumab, as compared with placebo, was 59%, from a median baseline value of 92 mg per deciliter (2.4 mmol per liter) to 30 mg per deciliter (0.78 mmol per liter) (P<0.001). Relative to placebo, evolocumab treatment significantly reduced the risk of the primary end point (1344 patients [9.8%] vs. 1563 patients [11.3%]; hazard ratio, 0.85; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.79 to 0.92; P<0.001) and the key secondary end point (816 [5.9%] vs. 1013 [7.4%]; hazard ratio, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.73 to 0.88; P<0.001). The results were consistent across key subgroups, including the subgroup of patients in the lowest quartile for baseline LDL cholesterol levels (median, 74 mg per deciliter [1.9 mmol per liter]). There was no significant difference between the study groups with regard to adverse events (including new-onset diabetes and neurocognitive events), with the exception of injection-site reactions, which were more common with evolocumab (2.1% vs. 1.6%).

CONCLUSIONS

In our trial, inhibition of PCSK9 with evolocumab on a background of statin therapy lowered LDL cholesterol levels to a median of 30 mg per deciliter (0.78 mmol per liter) and reduced the risk of cardiovascular events. These findings show that patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease benefit from lowering of LDL cholesterol levels below current targets. (Funded by Amgen; FOURIER ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01764633.)

Inclisiran in Patients at High Cardiovascular Risk with Elevated LDL Cholesterol

BACKGROUND

In a previous study, a single injection of inclisiran, a chemically synthesized small interfering RNA designed to target PCSK9 messenger RNA, was found to produce sustained reductions in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels over the course of 84 days in healthy volunteers.

METHODS

We conducted a phase 2, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multiple-ascending-dose trial of inclisiran administered as a subcutaneous injection in patients at high risk for cardiovascular disease who had elevated LDL cholesterol levels. Patients were randomly assigned to receive a single dose of placebo or 200, 300, or 500 mg of inclisiran or two doses (at days 1 and 90) of placebo or 100, 200, or 300 mg of inclisiran. The primary end point was the change from baseline in LDL cholesterol level at 180 days. Safety data were available through day 210, and data on LDL cholesterol and proprotein convertase subtilisin–kexin type 9 (PCSK9) levels were available through day 240.

RESULTS

A total of 501 patients underwent randomization. Patients who received inclisiran had dose-dependent reductions in PCSK9 and LDL cholesterol levels. At day 180, the least-squares mean reductions in LDL cholesterol levels were 27.9 to 41.9% after a single dose of inclisiran and 35.5 to 52.6% after two doses (P<0.001 for all comparisons vs. placebo). The two-dose 300-mg inclisiran regimen produced the greatest reduction in LDL cholesterol levels: 48% of the patients who received the regimen had an LDL cholesterol level below 50 mg per deciliter (1.3 mmol per liter) at day 180. At day 240, PCSK9 and LDL cholesterol levels remained significantly lower than at baseline in association with all inclisiran regimens. Serious adverse events occurred in 11% of the patients who received inclisiran and in 8% of the patients who received placebo. Injection-site reactions occurred in 5% of the patients who received injections of inclisiran.

CONCLUSIONS

In our trial, inclisiran was found to lower PCSK9 and LDL cholesterol levels among patients at high cardiovascular risk who had elevated LDL cholesterol levels. (Funded by the Medicines Company; ORION-1 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02597127.)