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Bempedoic Acid for Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Events in Statin-Intolerant Patients
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Steven E. Nissen, MD1
JAMA. Published online June 24, 2023
Key Points
In statin-intolerant primary prevention patients at high cardiovascular risk, does bempedoic acid reduce major adverse cardiovascular events?
Findings In this randomized trial of 13 970 patients, 4206 participants were enrolled with high cardiovascular risk but without a prior cardiovascular event. In this subgroup, bempedoic acid treatment, 180 mg daily, was associated with a significant reduction in major cardiovascular events (hazard ratio, 0.70).
These findings suggest that treatment with bempedoic acid in primary prevention patients has the potential to reduce major adverse cardiovascular events.
The effects of bempedoic acid on cardiovascular outcomes in statin-intolerant patients without a prior cardiovascular event (primary prevention) have not been fully described.
Objective To determine the effects of bempedoic acid on cardiovascular outcomes in primary prevention patients.
Design, Setting, and Participants This masked, randomized clinical trial enrolled 13 970 statin-intolerant patients (enrollment December 2016 to August 2019 at 1250 centers in 32 countries), including 4206 primary prevention patients.
Interventions Participants were randomized to oral bempedoic acid, 180 mg daily (n = 2100), or matching placebo (n = 2106).
Main Outcome Measures The primary efficacy measure was the time from randomization to the first occurrence of any component of a composite of cardiovascular death, nonfatal myocardial infarction (MI), nonfatal stroke, or coronary revascularization.
Results Mean participant age was 68 years, 59% were female, and 66% had diabetes. From a mean baseline of 142.5 mg/dL, compared with placebo, bempedoic acid reduced low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels by 30.2 mg/dL (21.3%) and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein levels by 0.56 mg/L (21.5%), from a median baseline of 2.4 mg/L. Follow-up for a median of 39.9 months was associated with a significant risk reduction for the primary end point (111 events [5.3%] vs 161 events [7.6%]; adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 0.70 [95% CI, 0.55-0.89]; P = .002) and key secondary end points, including the composite of cardiovascular death, MI, or stroke (83 events [4.0%] vs 134 events [6.4%]; HR, 0.64 [95% CI, 0.48-0.84]; P < .001); MI (29 events [1.4%] vs 47 events [2.2%]; HR, 0.61 [95% CI, 0.39-0.98]); cardiovascular death (37 events [1.8%] vs 65 events [3.1%]; HR, 0.61 [95% CI, 0.41-0.92]); and all-cause mortality (75 events [3.6%] vs 109 events [5.2%]; HR, 0.73 [95% CI, 0.54-0.98]). There was no significant effect on stroke or coronary revascularization. Adverse effects with bempedoic acid included a higher incidence of gout (2.6% vs 2.0%), cholelithiasis (2.5% vs 1.1%), and increases in serum creatinine, uric acid, and hepatic enzyme levels.
In a subgroup of high-risk primary prevention patients, bempedoic acid treatment was associated with reduced major cardiovascular events.



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