European Primary Care Cardiovascular Society

High-intensity statin monotherapy vs. moderate-intensity statin plus ezetimibe in ASCVD

Long-term efficacy and safety of moderate-intensity statin with ezetimibe combination therapy versus high-intensity statin monotherapy in patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (RACING): a randomised, open-label, non-inferiority trial

Literature - Kim BK, Hong SJ, Lee YJ, et al. - Lancet. 2022 Jul 18:S0140-6736(22)00916-3. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(22)00916-3.

Introduction and methods

Background

Combinations of drugs may be more effective and may be associated with lower risks than increasing doses of one drug [1]. As an alternative to high-intensity statin monotherapy, ezetimibe may be added to lower-intensity statin. This treatment strategy could lead to a reduction in the potential intolerances and adverse events related to high-intensity statin therapy [2-7]. Two meta-analyses of RCTs showed that lower-intensity statin with ezetimibe combination therapy results in significantly lower LDL-c concentrations, compared with high-intensity statin monotherapy [8,9]. However, no randomized study has examined the long-term effects of these 2 treatment strategies in patients with ASCVD.

Aim of the study

This randomized study compared the 3-year efficacy and safety of moderate-intensity statin plus ezetimibe versus high-intensity statin monotherapy in patients with ASCVD.

Methods

The researchers conducted the RACING study, a multicenter, open-label, non-inferiority trial in 26 hospitals in South Korea. Patients aged 19-80 years with ASCVD (n = 3780) were randomized to moderate-intensity statin (rosuvastatin 10 mg once daily) with ezetimibe (10 mg once daily) combination therapy or high-intensity statin (rosuvastatin 20 mg once daily) monotherapy. Randomization was stratified by LDL-c concentration (< 100 mg/dL) and presence of diabetes at baseline. ASCVD was defined as the presence or occurrence of myocardial infarction, acute coronary syndrome, coronary revascularization or other arterial revascularization, ischemic stroke, or PAD. Patients with active liver disease or a life expectancy <3 years, donor organ recipients, and pregnant or lactating women were excluded from participation. Patients were followed up for 3 years.

Outcomes

The primary outcome was a composite of cardiovascular death, major cardiovascular events, or non-fatal stroke within 3 years, for which the noninferiority margin was set at 2%. A major cardiovascular event was defined as coronary or peripheral revascularization or hospitalization for a cardiovascular event, being cardiac ischemia, heart failure or PAD. Secondary efficacy outcomes were (a) an LDL-c concentration < 70 mg/dL at 1, 2, and 3 years; (b) a composite of all-cause death, major cardiovascular events, or non-fatal stroke; and (c) the individual components of the primary and secondary composite outcomes. Secondary safety outcomes were: (a) discontinuation or dose reduction of study medication caused by intolerance; and (b) adverse events, including new-onset diabetes, muscle-, liver-, or gallbladder-related adverse events, and cancer.

Main results

Effectiveness

Safety

Conclusion

This multicenter, open-label trial shows that moderate-intensity statin with ezetimibe combination therapy is non-inferior to high-intensity statin monotherapy in patients with ASCVD in the long term. Within 3 years, the primary outcome, which was a composite of cardiovascular death, major cardiovascular events, and non-fatal stroke, occurred equally often in both groups. In the combination therapy group, the percentage of patients with an LDL-c concentration < 70 mg/dL was higher and the percentage of patients in whom treatment had to be discontinued or the dose reduced was lower than in the monotherapy group.

References

Show references

Find this article online at Lancet.

Share this page with your colleagues and friends: