Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Statin Treatment in Children With Familial Hypercholesterolemia

Statin Treatment in Children With Familial Hypercholesterolemia
The Younger, the Better

Published online before print July 30, 2007, doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.106.671016

Jessica Rodenburg, MD, PhD; Maud N. Vissers, PhD; Albert Wiegman, MD, PhD; A. S. Paul van Trotsenburg, MD, PhD; Anouk van der Graaf, MD; Eric de Groot, MD, PhD; Frits A. Wijburg, MD, PhD; John J.P. Kastelein, MD, PhD; Barbara A. Hutten, PhD

From the Departments of Vascular Medicine (J.R., M.N.V., A.v.d.G., E.d.G., J.J.P.K.), Paediatrics (A.W., A.S.P.v.T., F.A.W.), and Clinical Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Bioinformatics (B.A.H.), Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Background— We previously demonstrated in a randomized placebo-controlled trial that 2-year pravastatin treatment induced a significant regression of carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) in 8- to 18-year-old children with familial hypercholesterolemia. Subsequently, we continued to follow up these children to explore the relation between the age of statin initiation and carotid IMT after follow-up on statin treatment. We also examined safety aspects of statin therapy during this long-term follow-up.

Methods and Results— All 214 children who initially participated in the previous placebo-controlled study were eligible for the follow-up study. After completion of the placebo-controlled study, all children continued treatment with pravastatin 20 or 40 mg, depending on their age. Blood samples were taken on a regular basis for lipids and safety parameters, and a carotid IMT measurement was performed after an average treatment period of 4.5 years. Follow-up data for 186 children were available for the statistical analyses. Multivariate analyses revealed that age at statin initiation was an independent predictor for carotid IMT after follow-up with adjustment for carotid IMT at initiation of statin treatment, sex, and duration of treatment. Early initiation of statin treatment was associated with a subsequently smaller IMT. Furthermore, no serious laboratory adverse events were reported during follow-up, and statin treatment had no untoward effects on sexual maturation.

ConclusionsThese data indicate that early initiation of statin treatment delays the progression of carotid IMT in adolescents and young adults. The present study shows for the first time that early initiation of statin therapy in children with familial hypercholesterolemia might be beneficial in the prevention of atherosclerosis in adolescence.

Primary source:

Circulation: Journal of the American Heart AssociationSource reference: Rodenburg J, et al "Statin Treatment in Children With Familial Hypercholesterolemia: The Younger, the Better" Circulation 2007;116: 664-668.

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