Michael S. Kostapanos, Moses S. Elisaf
The JUPITER (Justification for the Use of Statins in Prevention: an Intervention Trial Evaluating Rosuvastatin) study was a real breakthrough in primary cardiovascular disease prevention with statins, since it was conducted in apparently healthy individuals with normal levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C < 130 mg/dL) and increased inflammatory state, reflected by a high concentration of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP ≥ 2 mg/L). These individuals would not have qualified for statin treatment according to current treatment guidelines. In JUPITER, rosuvastatin was associated with significant reductions in cardiovascular outcomes as well as in overall mortality compared with placebo. In this paper the most important secondary analyses of the JUPITER trial are discussed, by focusing on their novel findings regarding the role of statins in primary prevention. Also, the characteristics of otherwise healthy normocholesterolemic subjects who are anticipated to benefit more from statin treatment in the clinical setting are discussed. Subjects at ‘intermediate’ or ‘high’ 10-year risk according to the Framingham score, those who exhibit low post-treatment levels of both LDL-C (< 70 mg/dL) and hs-CRP (< 1 mg/L), who are 70 years of age or older, as well as those with moderate chronic kidney disease (estimated glomerular filtration rate < 60 mL/min/1.73 m2) are anticipated to benefit more from statin treatment. Unlikely other statin primary prevention trials, JUPITER added to our knowledge that statins may be effective drugs in the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease in normocholesterolemic individuals at moderate-to-high risk. Also, statin treatment may reduce the risk of venous thromboembolism and preserve renal function. An increase in physician-reported diabetes represents a major safety concern associated with the use of the most potent statins.
Keywords: rosuvastatin, primary prevention, JUPITER, cardiovascular events, mortality