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Concept: Apolipoprotein B

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Background Evolocumab is a monoclonal antibody that inhibits proprotein convertase subtilisin-kexin type 9 (PCSK9) and lowers low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels by approximately 60%. Whether it prevents cardiovascular events is uncertain. Methods We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial involving 27,564 patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and LDL cholesterol levels of 70 mg per deciliter (1.8 mmol per liter) or higher who were receiving statin therapy. Patients were randomly assigned to receive evolocumab (either 140 mg every 2 weeks or 420 mg monthly) or matching placebo as subcutaneous injections. The primary efficacy end point was the composite of cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, stroke, hospitalization for unstable angina, or coronary revascularization. The key secondary efficacy end point was the composite of cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, or stroke. The median duration of follow-up was 2.2 years. Results At 48 weeks, the least-squares mean percentage reduction in LDL cholesterol levels with evolocumab, as compared with placebo, was 59%, from a median baseline value of 92 mg per deciliter (2.4 mmol per liter) to 30 mg per deciliter (0.78 mmol per liter) (P<0.001). Relative to placebo, evolocumab treatment significantly reduced the risk of the primary end point (1344 patients [9.8%] vs. 1563 patients [11.3%]; hazard ratio, 0.85; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.79 to 0.92; P<0.001) and the key secondary end point (816 [5.9%] vs. 1013 [7.4%]; hazard ratio, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.73 to 0.88; P<0.001). The results were consistent across key subgroups, including the subgroup of patients in the lowest quartile for baseline LDL cholesterol levels (median, 74 mg per deciliter [1.9 mmol per liter]). There was no significant difference between the study groups with regard to adverse events (including new-onset diabetes and neurocognitive events), with the exception of injection-site reactions, which were more common with evolocumab (2.1% vs. 1.6%). Conclusions In our trial, inhibition of PCSK9 with evolocumab on a background of statin therapy lowered LDL cholesterol levels to a median of 30 mg per deciliter (0.78 mmol per liter) and reduced the risk of cardiovascular events. These findings show that patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease benefit from lowering of LDL cholesterol levels below current targets. (Funded by Amgen; FOURIER ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01764633 .).

Concepts: Cholesterol, Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Cardiovascular disease, Low-density lipoprotein, Statin, Atheroma, Apolipoprotein B

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Background In a previous study, a single injection of inclisiran, a chemically synthesized small interfering RNA designed to target PCSK9 messenger RNA, was found to produce sustained reductions in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels over the course of 84 days in healthy volunteers. Methods We conducted a phase 2, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multiple-ascending-dose trial of inclisiran administered as a subcutaneous injection in patients at high risk for cardiovascular disease who had elevated LDL cholesterol levels. Patients were randomly assigned to receive a single dose of placebo or 200, 300, or 500 mg of inclisiran or two doses (at days 1 and 90) of placebo or 100, 200, or 300 mg of inclisiran. The primary end point was the change from baseline in LDL cholesterol level at 180 days. Safety data were available through day 210, and data on LDL cholesterol and proprotein convertase subtilisin-kexin type 9 (PCSK9) levels were available through day 240. Results A total of 501 patients underwent randomization. Patients who received inclisiran had dose-dependent reductions in PCSK9 and LDL cholesterol levels. At day 180, the least-squares mean reductions in LDL cholesterol levels were 27.9 to 41.9% after a single dose of inclisiran and 35.5 to 52.6% after two doses (P<0.001 for all comparisons vs. placebo). The two-dose 300-mg inclisiran regimen produced the greatest reduction in LDL cholesterol levels: 48% of the patients who received the regimen had an LDL cholesterol level below 50 mg per deciliter (1.3 mmol per liter) at day 180. At day 240, PCSK9 and LDL cholesterol levels remained significantly lower than at baseline in association with all inclisiran regimens. Serious adverse events occurred in 11% of the patients who received inclisiran and in 8% of the patients who received placebo. Injection-site reactions occurred in 5% of the patients who received injections of inclisiran. Conclusions In our trial, inclisiran was found to lower PCSK9 and LDL cholesterol levels among patients at high cardiovascular risk who had elevated LDL cholesterol levels. (Funded by the Medicines Company; ORION-1 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02597127 .).

Concepts: Cholesterol, Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Cardiovascular disease, Low-density lipoprotein, Atheroma, Apolipoprotein B

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Background Evolocumab, a monoclonal antibody that inhibits proprotein convertase subtilisin-kexin type 9 (PCSK9), significantly reduced low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels in short-term studies. We conducted two extension studies to obtain longer-term data. Methods In two open-label, randomized trials, we enrolled 4465 patients who had completed 1 of 12 phase 2 or 3 studies (“parent trials”) of evolocumab. Regardless of study-group assignments in the parent trials, eligible patients were randomly assigned in a 2:1 ratio to receive either evolocumab (140 mg every 2 weeks or 420 mg monthly) plus standard therapy or standard therapy alone. Patients were followed for a median of 11.1 months with assessment of lipid levels, safety, and (as a prespecified exploratory analysis) adjudicated cardiovascular events including death, myocardial infarction, unstable angina, coronary revascularization, stroke, transient ischemic attack, and heart failure. Data from the two trials were combined. Results As compared with standard therapy alone, evolocumab reduced the level of LDL cholesterol by 61%, from a median of 120 mg per deciliter to 48 mg per deciliter (P<0.001). Most adverse events occurred with similar frequency in the two groups, although neurocognitive events were reported more frequently in the evolocumab group. The risk of adverse events, including neurocognitive events, did not vary significantly according to the achieved level of LDL cholesterol. The rate of cardiovascular events at 1 year was reduced from 2.18% in the standard-therapy group to 0.95% in the evolocumab group (hazard ratio in the evolocumab group, 0.47; 95% confidence interval, 0.28 to 0.78; P=0.003). Conclusions During approximately 1 year of therapy, the use of evolocumab plus standard therapy, as compared with standard therapy alone, significantly reduced LDL cholesterol levels and reduced the incidence of cardiovascular events in a prespecified but exploratory analysis. (Funded by Amgen; OSLER-1 and OSLER-2 ClinicalTrials.gov numbers, NCT01439880 and NCT01854918 .).

Concepts: Cholesterol, Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Angina pectoris, Cardiovascular disease, Low-density lipoprotein, Atheroma, Apolipoprotein B

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-A continuous relationship between reductions in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) has been observed in statin and ezetimibe outcomes trials, down to achieved levels of 54 mg/dL. However, it is uncertain whether this relationship extends to LDL-C levels <50 mg/dL. We assessed the relationship between additional LDL-C, non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (non-HDL-C), and apolipoprotein B100 (apoB) reductions and MACE among patients within the ODYSSEY trials that compared alirocumab versus controls (placebo/ezetimibe), mainly as add on to maximally tolerated statin.

Concepts: Cholesterol, Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Cardiovascular disease, Low-density lipoprotein, Statin, Atheroma, Apolipoprotein B

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The known link between obesity and cancer suggests an important interaction between the host lipid metabolism and tumorigenesis. Here, we used a syngeneic tumor graft model to demonstrate that tumor development influences the host lipid metabolism. BCR-Abl-transformed precursor B cell tumors induced hyperlipidemia by stimulating very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) production and blunting VLDL and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) turnover. To assess whether tumor progression was dependent on tumor-induced hyperlipidemia, we utilized the VLDL production-deficient mouse model, carboxylesterase3/triacylglycerol hydrolase (Ces3/TGH) knockout mice. In Ces3/Tgh(-/-) tumor-bearing mice, plasma triglyceride and cholesterol levels were attenuated. Importantly tumor weight was reduced in Ces3/Tgh(-/-) mice. Mechanistically, reduced tumor growth in Ces3/Tgh(-/-) mice was attributed to reversal of tumor-induced PCSK9-mediated degradation of hepatic LDLR and decrease of LDL turnover. Our data demonstrate that tumor-induced hyperlipidemia encompasses a feed-forward loop that reprograms hepatic lipoprotein homeostasis in part by providing LDL cholesterol to support tumor growth.

Concepts: Cholesterol, Atherosclerosis, Low-density lipoprotein, Atheroma, Lipoproteins, Apolipoprotein B, Very low-density lipoprotein, Intermediate-density lipoprotein

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Background Previous trials have shown that the use of statins to lower cholesterol reduces the risk of cardiovascular events among persons without cardiovascular disease. Those trials have involved persons with elevated lipid levels or inflammatory markers and involved mainly white persons. It is unclear whether the benefits of statins can be extended to an intermediate-risk, ethnically diverse population without cardiovascular disease. Methods In one comparison from a 2-by-2 factorial trial, we randomly assigned 12,705 participants in 21 countries who did not have cardiovascular disease and were at intermediate risk to receive rosuvastatin at a dose of 10 mg per day or placebo. The first coprimary outcome was the composite of death from cardiovascular causes, nonfatal myocardial infarction, or nonfatal stroke, and the second coprimary outcome additionally included revascularization, heart failure, and resuscitated cardiac arrest. The median follow-up was 5.6 years. Results The overall mean low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level was 26.5% lower in the rosuvastatin group than in the placebo group. The first coprimary outcome occurred in 235 participants (3.7%) in the rosuvastatin group and in 304 participants (4.8%) in the placebo group (hazard ratio, 0.76; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.64 to 0.91; P=0.002). The results for the second coprimary outcome were consistent with the results for the first (occurring in 277 participants [4.4%] in the rosuvastatin group and in 363 participants [5.7%] in the placebo group; hazard ratio, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.64 to 0.88; P<0.001). The results were also consistent in subgroups defined according to cardiovascular risk at baseline, lipid level, C-reactive protein level, blood pressure, and race or ethnic group. In the rosuvastatin group, there was no excess of diabetes or cancers, but there was an excess of cataract surgery (in 3.8% of the participants, vs. 3.1% in the placebo group; P=0.02) and muscle symptoms (in 5.8% of the participants, vs. 4.7% in the placebo group; P=0.005). Conclusions Treatment with rosuvastatin at a dose of 10 mg per day resulted in a significantly lower risk of cardiovascular events than placebo in an intermediate-risk, ethnically diverse population without cardiovascular disease. (Funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and AstraZeneca; HOPE-3 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00468923 .).

Concepts: Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Cardiovascular disease, Low-density lipoprotein, C-reactive protein, Apolipoprotein B, Cardiovascular diseases, Hypercholesterolemia

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BACKGROUND:Modifiable behaviours during early childhood may provide opportunities to prevent disease processes before adverse outcomes occur. Our objective was to determine whether young children’s eating behaviours were associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease in later life. METHODS:In this cross-sectional study involving children aged 3-5 years recruited from 7 pri mary care practices in Toronto, Ontario, we assessed the relation between eating behaviours as assessed by the NutriSTEP (Nutritional Screening Tool for Every Preschooler) questionnaire (completed by parents) and serum levels of non-high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, a surrogate marker of cardiovascular risk. We also assessed the relation between dietary intake and serum non-HDL cholesterol, and between eating behaviours and other laboratory indices of cardiovascular risk (low-density lipoprotein [LDL] cholesterol, apolipoprotein B, HDL cholesterol and apoliprotein A1). RESULTS:A total of 1856 children were recruited from primary care practices in Toronto. Of these children, we included 1076 in our study for whom complete data and blood samples were available for analysis. The eating behaviours subscore of the NutriSTEP tool was significantly associated with serum non-HDL cholesterol (p = 0.03); for each unit increase in the eating behaviours subscore suggesting greater nutritional risk, we saw an an increase of 0.02 mmol/L (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.002 to 0.05) in serum non-HDL cholesterol. The eating behaviours subscore was also associated with LDL cholesterol and apolipoprotein B, but not with HDL cholesterol or apolipoprotein A1. The dietary intake subscore was not associated with non-HDL cholesterol. INTERPRETATION:Eating behaviours in preschoolaged children are important potentially modifiable determinants of cardiovas cular risk and should be a focus for future studies of screening and behavioural interventions.

Concepts: Cholesterol, Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Cardiovascular disease, Low-density lipoprotein, Atheroma, High-density lipoprotein, Apolipoprotein B

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Background Bococizumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody that inhibits proprotein convertase subtilisin-kexin type 9 (PCSK9) and reduces levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. We sought to evaluate the efficacy of bococizumab in patients at high cardiovascular risk. Methods In two parallel, multinational trials with different entry criteria for LDL cholesterol levels, we randomly assigned the 27,438 patients in the combined trials to receive bococizumab (at a dose of 150 mg) subcutaneously every 2 weeks or placebo. The primary end point was nonfatal myocardial infarction, nonfatal stroke, hospitalization for unstable angina requiring urgent revascularization, or cardiovascular death; 93% of the patients were receiving statin therapy at baseline. The trials were stopped early after the sponsor elected to discontinue the development of bococizumab owing in part to the development of high rates of antidrug antibodies, as seen in data from other studies in the program. The median follow-up was 10 months. Results At 14 weeks, patients in the combined trials had a mean change from baseline in LDL cholesterol levels of -56.0% in the bococizumab group and +2.9% in the placebo group, for a between-group difference of -59.0 percentage points (P<0.001) and a median reduction from baseline of 64.2% (P<0.001). In the lower-risk, shorter-duration trial (in which the patients had a baseline LDL cholesterol level of ≥70 mg per deciliter [1.8 mmol per liter] and the median follow-up was 7 months), major cardiovascular events occurred in 173 patients each in the bococizumab group and the placebo group (hazard ratio, 0.99; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.80 to 1.22; P=0.94). In the higher-risk, longer-duration trial (in which the patients had a baseline LDL cholesterol level of ≥100 mg per deciliter [2.6 mmol per liter] and the median follow-up was 12 months), major cardiovascular events occurred in 179 and 224 patients, respectively (hazard ratio, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.65 to 0.97; P=0.02). The hazard ratio for the primary end point in the combined trials was 0.88 (95% CI, 0.76 to 1.02; P=0.08). Injection-site reactions were more common in the bococizumab group than in the placebo group (10.4% vs. 1.3%, P<0.001). Conclusions In two randomized trials comparing the PCSK9 inhibitor bococizumab with placebo, bococizumab had no benefit with respect to major adverse cardiovascular events in the trial involving lower-risk patients but did have a significant benefit in the trial involving higher-risk patients. (Funded by Pfizer; SPIRE-1 and SPIRE-2 ClinicalTrials.gov numbers, NCT01975376 and NCT01975389 .).

Concepts: Cholesterol, Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Cardiovascular disease, Low-density lipoprotein, Statin, Atheroma, Apolipoprotein B

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Dietary fructose may play a role in the pathogenesis of metabolic syndrome (MetS). In a recently published study of obese children with MetS, we showed that isocaloric fructose restriction reduced fasting triglyceride (TG) and LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C). In these ancillary analyses, we tested the hypothesis that these effects were also accompanied by improved quantitative and qualitative changes in LDL and HDL subclasses and their apolipoproteins; as well as change in VLDL, particularly apoC-III.

Concepts: Cholesterol, Nutrition, Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Cardiovascular disease, Low-density lipoprotein, Metabolic syndrome, Apolipoprotein B

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Background Bococizumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody targeting proprotein convertase subtilisin-kexin type 9 (PCSK9), reduces levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. However, the variability and durability of this effect are uncertain. Methods We conducted six parallel, multinational lipid-lowering trials enrolling 4300 patients with hyperlipidemia who were randomly assigned to receive 150 mg of bococizumab or placebo subcutaneously every 2 weeks and who were followed for up to 12 months; 96% were receiving statin therapy at the time of enrollment. The patients were assessed for lipid changes over time, stratified according to the presence or absence of antidrug antibodies detected during the treatment period. Results At 12 weeks, patients who received bococizumab had a reduction of 54.2% in the LDL cholesterol level from baseline, as compared with an increase of 1.0% among those who received placebo (absolute between-group difference, -55.2 percentage points). Significant between-group differences were also observed in total cholesterol, non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, apolipoprotein B, and lipoprotein(a) (P<0.001 for all comparisons). However, high-titer antidrug antibodies developed in a substantial proportion of the patients who received bococizumab, which markedly diminished the magnitude and durability of the reduction in LDL cholesterol levels. In addition, among patients with no antidrug antibodies, there was wide variability in the reduction in LDL cholesterol levels at both 12 weeks and 52 weeks. Major cardiovascular events occurred in 57 patients (2.5%) who received bococizumab and in 55 (2.7%) who received placebo (hazard ratio, 0.96; 95% confidence interval, 0.66 to 1.39; P=0.83). The most common adverse event among patients who received bococizumab was injection-site reaction (12.7 per 100 person-years). Conclusions In six multinational trials evaluating bococizumab, antidrug antibodies developed in a large proportion of the patients and significantly attenuated the lowering of LDL cholesterol levels. Wide variation in the relative reduction in cholesterol levels was also observed among patients in whom antidrug antibodies did not develop. (Funded by Pfizer; SPIRE ClinicalTrials.gov numbers, NCT01968954 , NCT01968967 , NCT01968980 , NCT02100514 , NCT02135029 , and NCT02458287 .).

Concepts: Cholesterol, Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Cardiovascular disease, Low-density lipoprotein, Statin, Atheroma, Apolipoprotein B