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Achieving lipid goals in real life: the Dutch DISCOVERY Study


  • Dr A. F. E. Bots has no conflicts of interest. Dr J. J. P. Kastelein is a professor of medicine and chairs the Department of Vascular Medicine at the Academic Medical Center of the University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He has received research support and speaker fees from AstraZeneca. The DISCOVERY Netherlands trial was conducted in 152 primary care physician practices in the Netherlands.

*Dr A. F. E. Bots, Hinthamereinde 13, 5211 PL ‘s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands
Tel.: + 31 7361 34450


DISCOVERY Netherlands was an open-label, randomised, multicentre study (D3560/L00003) designed to compare the effects of rosuvastatin with those of atorvastatin, simvastatin or pravastatin on low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) goal achievement in a primary care setting. Patients (n = 1215) with type IIa or type IIb hypercholesterolaemia and cardiovascular risk of >20% or a history of coronary heart or other atherosclerotic vascular disease were randomised to receive treatment with rosuvastatin 10 mg (n = 621), atorvastatin 10 mg (n = 189), simvastatin 20 mg (n = 194) or pravastatin 40 mg (n = 211) for 12 weeks. Significantly, more patients achieved 1998 and 2003 European LDL-C goals with rosuvastatin than with other statins after 12 weeks (p < 0.001). Rosuvastatin reduced LDL-C and total cholesterol levels significantly more than other statins, both in patients who were statin-naïve and in patients who had received previous statin treatment (p < 0.05). All treatments were similarly well tolerated. In conclusion, greater reductions in LDL-C were achieved with rosuvastatin compared with atorvastatin, simvastatin and pravastatin, enabling more patients to achieve European LDL-C goals.