Postponement of cardiovascular outcomes by statin use: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials

Morten Rix Hansen*, Asbjørn Hróbjartsson, Anton Pottegård, Per Damkier, Kenneth Grønkjær Madsen, Manan Pareek, Morten Olesen, Jesper Hallas

*Corresponding author for this work

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Objective: To estimate the average outcome postponement (gain in days to an event) for cardiovascular outcomes in a meta-analysis of randomized, controlled statin trials, including any myocardial infarction, any stroke and cardiovascular death. Design: Systematic review of large randomized, placebo-controlled trials of statin use, including a random-effects meta-analysis of all included trials. Data sources: We searched MEDLINE (15 July 2019) and (16 October 2019). Eligibility criteria for selecting studies: Randomized, placebo-controlled trials of statin use that included at least 1000 participants. We identified 15 cardiovascular outcomes that were reported in more than 2 trials. Results: We included 19 trials. The summary outcome postponements for the 15 cardiovascular outcomes varied between −1 and 38 days. For four major outcomes, the summary outcome postponement in days was as follows: cardiovascular mortality, 9.27 days (95% CI: 3.6 to 14.91; I2 = 72%; 9 trials) non-vascular and non-cardiovascular mortality, 1.5 days (95% CI: −2.2 to 5.3; I2 = 0%; 6 trials) any myocardial infarction 18.0 days (95% CI; 12.1 to 24.1; I2 = 92%; 15 trials); and any stroke, 6.1 days (95% CI; 2.86 to 9.39; I2 = 66%; 14 trials). Conclusion: Statin treatment provided a small, average postponement of cardiovascular outcomes during trial duration.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBasic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)286-296
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • cardiovascular endpoints
  • cholesterol
  • effect measures
  • meta-analysis
  • outcome postponement
  • statins


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