Reduction of cardiovascular events with the use of lipid-lowering medication in patients with familial hypercholesterolemia or severe primary hypercholesterolemia: A systematic review


      • Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) is associated with an increased cardiovascular risk.
      • The cardiovascular benefit of lipid-lowering therapy in FH is poor explored.
      • We developed a systematic review on this topic according to current guidelines.
      • Statins reduce cardiovascular events also in patients with FH.
      • Evidence for other lipid-lowering drugs is not conclusive.
      Background: Lipid-lowering medication is effective in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease in several clinical scenarios. However, the evidence in patients with familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) and severe primary hypercholesterolemia is less robust.
      Objectives: The main objective of the present systematic review was to analyze the association between lipid-lowering medication and cardiovascular risk reduction in patients with FH or severe primary hypercholesterolemia.
      Methods: This systematic review was performed according to PRISMA guidelines. A literature search was performed to detect studies that evaluated the association between lipid-lowering medication and cardiovascular events in FH patients. The diagnosis of FH varied in the studies analyzed. Genetic and clinical criteria or a combination of both were used. Likewise, we considered patients with severe primary hypercholesterolemia.
      Results: Fourteen studies including 21059 patients were considered eligible for this research. This systematic review showed that the vast majority of the studies with statins reported a significant cardiovascular risk reduction. Statin use was associated with a lower risk of major adverse cardiovascular events (3 studies), coronary heart disease (2 studies), cardiovascular death (4 studies), all-cause mortality (4 studies) and combined endpoint of coronary heart disease and mortality (1 study). When analyzing the association between non-statin lipid-lowering medications and the incidence of cardiovascular events, the results were conflicting.
      Conclusion: Despite the low level of evidence, this systematic review showed that statins reduce cardiovascular events in patients with HeFH. Evidence for other lipid-lowering drugs is not conclusive.


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