A Meta-Analysis Assessing Additional LDL-C Reduction from Addition of a Bile Acid Sequestrant to Statin Therapy



      Statins are the first-line therapy for reducing low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). However, there are secondary prevention patients who are either intolerant to maximal statin therapy or do not get adequate effects from a high-intensity statin. While data exist for the additional LDL-C-lowering effects of ezetimibe, there are no data on additional LDL-C lowering of bile acid sequestrants when combined with statin therapy. The purpose of this study was to quantify the LDL-C-lowering effects of bile acid sequestrants when added to statin therapy.


      Databases (Medline via PubMed, Embase, and the Cochrane Library) were searched for randomized controlled trials comparing statin therapy to statin therapy with the addition of bile acid sequestrants. Nine studies were included in the meta-analysis. A meta-regression was performed to estimate the mean difference in LDL-C between the 2 groups.


      Without controlling for other variables, data suggest that combining statin with bile acid sequestrant increases the percentage change in LDL-C by 16.2 points, on average, compared with statin use alone.


      In patients unable to tolerate an adequate statin dosage, bile acid sequestrants offer a viable alternative with additional LDL-C-lowering benefit.


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