Inflammation, pravastatin, and the risk of coronary events after myocardial infarction in patients with average cholesterol levels

Paul M. Ridker, Nader Rifai, Marc A. Pfeffer, Frank M. Sacks, Lemuel A. Moye, Steven Goldman, Greg C. Flaker, Eugene Braunwald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1230 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background - We studied whether inflammation after myocardial infarction (MI) is a risk factor for recurrent coronary events and whether randomized treatment with pravastatin reduces that risk. Methods and Results - A nested case-control design was used to compare C-reactive protein (CRP) and serum amyloid A (SAA) levels in preandomization blood samples from 391 participants in the Cholesterol and Recurrent Events (CARE) trial who subsequently developed recurrent nonfatal MI or a fatal coronary event (cases) and from an equal number of age- and sex-matched participants who remained free of these events during follow-up (control subjects). Overall, CRP and SAA were higher among cases than control subjects (for CRP P=0.05; for SAA P=0.006) such that those with levels in the highest quintile had a relative risk (RR) of recurrent events 75% higher than those with levels in the lowest quintile (for CRP RR=1.77, P=0.02; for SAA RR=1.74, P=0.02). The study group with the highest risk was that with consistent evidence of inflammation (elevation of both CRP and SAA) who were randomly assigned to placebo (RR=2.81, P=0.007); this risk estimate was greater than the product of the individual risks associated with inflammation or placebo assignment alone. In stratified analyses, the association between inflammation and risk was significant among those randomized to placebo (RR=2.11, P=0.048) but was attenuated and nonsignificant among those randomized to pravastatin (RR=1.29, P=0.5). Conclusions - Evidence of inflammation after MI is associated with increased risk of recurrent coronary events. Therapy with pravastatin may decrease this risk, an observation consistent with nonlipid effect of this agent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)839-844
Number of pages6
JournalCirculation
Volume98
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 1998
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Atherosclerosis
  • C-reactive protein
  • Cholesterol
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Serum amyloid A

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

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