Effects of Obesity on Lipid-Lowering, Anti-Inflammatory, and Antiatherosclerotic Benefits of Atorvastatin or Pravastatin in Patients With Coronary Artery Disease (from the REVERSAL Study)

Stephen J. Nicholls, E. Murat Tuzcu, Ilke Sipahi, Paul Schoenhagen, Stanley L. Hazen, Fady Ntanios, Chuan Chuan Wun, Steven E. Nissen

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55 Citations (Scopus)


The effect of obesity on atherosclerotic burden and its modulation by lipid-lowering therapy is unknown. The Reversal of Atherosclerosis with Aggressive Lipid Lowering (REVERSAL) study was analyzed to determine the influence of increasing body mass index (BMI) on plasma lipids, C-reactive protein, plaque burden as determined by intravascular ultrasound, and the serial change in these parameters with a moderate or intensive lipid-lowering strategy. Patients with a higher BMI were younger, more likely to be women, and had a greater prevalence of hypertension, diabetes, and the metabolic syndrome. Although a higher BMI was associated with a lower high-density lipoprotein level and higher triglyceride and C-reactive protein levels, there was no apparent influence of BMI on plaque burden. However, with the intensive lipid-lowering strategy, a greater BMI was associated with a lower proportionate decrease in low-density lipoprotein (49.1 ± 21.4% vs 43.0 ± 22.4%, p = 0.008) and a greater proportionate decrease in C-reactive protein (39.7% vs 33.3%, p <0.04). Further, although moderate and intensive lipid-lowering strategies halted plaque progression in subjects with a lower BMI (median progression rates +1.5% and +1.2%, respectively), a significant effect on plaque progression rates was seen only with adoption of an intensive lipid-lowering strategy in the most obese subjects (median progression rate -1.88% vs +6.5% with the moderate lipid-lowering strategy, p = 0.01). In conclusion, plaque progression in obese patients is attenuated using an intensive, but not moderate, lipid-lowering strategy. These results highlight the need for aggressive risk factor modification and a decrease in vascular inflammation in obese patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1553-1557
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 1 Jun 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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