Effect of statin therapy on remnant lipoprotein cholesterol levels in patients with combined hyperlipidemia

Daniel T. Stein, Sridevi Devaraj, David Balis, Beverley Adams-Huet, Ishwarlal Jialal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Clinical trials with statins have demonstrated significant reductions in cardiovascular events. Remnant lipoproteins are independent predictors of cardiovascular events. Because of the paucity of data on the effect of statins on remnant lipoproteins, we tested the effect of pravastatin, simvastatin, and atorvastatin on remnant lipoprotein cholesterol (RLP-C) levels in a randomized crossover study in patients with combined hyperlipidemia. After a 6-week diet phase, patients (n=22) were randomized to pravastatin (40 mg/d), simvastatin (20 mg/d), or atorvastatin (10 mg/d) for 6 weeks, with a 3-week washout between each drug. All 3 drugs significantly decreased total and low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (P<0.001). Mean reduction in LDL cholesterol with pravastatin, simvastatin, and atorvastatin was 21%, 29%, and 32%, respectively. None of the drugs affected high density lipoprotein cholesterol levels. Median levels of triglycerides were significantly reduced with simvastatin (26%, P=0.001) and atorvastatin (24%, P=0.0001) but not with pravastatin (9%, P=0.18). Non-high density lipoprotein cholesterol decreased significantly with all 3 statins (20%, 29%, and 32% with pravastatin, simvastatin, and atorvastatin, respectively; P<0.001). Median RLP-C levels were significantly reduced with simvastatin (6%, P<0.05) and atorvastatin (25.9%, P<0.001) but not with pravastatin (2.9%, P=0.58). Thus, atorvastatin and simvastatin, in addition to reducing LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, significantly reduced RLP-C levels. This could be another potential mechanism to explain their cardiovascular benefits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2026-2031
Number of pages6
JournalArteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2001


  • Non-HDL cholesterol
  • Remnants
  • Statins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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