Statins safe, effective in children with familial hypercholesterolaemia
Statin therapy is safe and effective in the immediate term in children with familial hypercholesterolaemia, a recent study has found.
Researchers evaluated a prospective cohort of 131 children or adolescents (median age, 10.0 years; 51.1 percent male) who were given statins for familial hypercholesterolaemia. Efficacy was assessed according to the proportion of participants who achieved low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels <160 mg/dL. Tolerance was measured according to the occurrence of clinical or laboratory side effects.
Over a median treatment duration of 48 months, median LDL-C levels dropped from 209 mg/dL at baseline to 142 mg/dL. The corresponding percentage difference of –32.0 percent was statistically significant (p<0.0001). More than half (67.4 percent) of the participants achieved the therapeutic LDL-C goal.
Similar effects were observed for other lipid biomarkers. Total cholesterol, for instance, dropped by 24.4 percent (p<0.0001) over the study period, going from 283 mg/dL at baseline to 214 mg/dL at the final follow-up. The same was true for high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (58 to 54.5 mg/dL; percentage difference, –6.0 percent; p=0.0025).
Statin therapy was also acceptably safe, being well tolerated by 81.6 percent (n=107) of the participants. Side effects were reported in 19 patients, and none resulted in permanent discontinuation. However, seven patients had to be switched to another class of statin, none of which resulted in the recurrence of side effects.