ORLANDO, Fla., Nov. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Final results were presented today from the AIM-HIGH study, a National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) study. The study was designed to test whether raising HDL "good" cholesterol by adding Niaspan to simvastatin would provide an additional 25 percent reduction in cardiovascular outcomes in patients with established cardiovascular disease and well-controlled LDL "bad" cholesterol levels. The study was stopped early following an interim analysis in May and found that combination therapy did not result in an additional reduction in cardiovascular events beyond treatment with simvastatin in this patient population with well-controlled LDL cholesterol and non-HDL-cholesterol (a measure of all plaque causing particles). In response, Abbott (NYSE: ABT) issued the following statement:
The AIM-HIGH study answered an important question about the benefits of additional lipid treatment for the specific type of patients enrolled in the study – those with stable established cardiovascular disease whose lipids were well-controlled at or near primary and secondary lipid goals at the start of the study. Current treatment guidelines would not have recommended that these patients receive additional lipid therapy.
According to the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) guidelines, LDL cholesterol is the primary target of lipid therapy. For patients at high cardiovascular risk, such as those enrolled in the AIM-HIGH study, guidelines recommend an optional LDL goal of 70 mg/dL or less. Additionally, non-HDL cholesterol of 100 mg/dL or less is the secondary goal of lipid treatment for high-risk patients when triglycerides are elevated (greater than 200 mg/dL) and after LDL goal is reached. Ninety-four percent of patients in the AIM-HIGH study were already taking statins, with most of this group taking