We conducted an historical cohort study to evaluate the relative effectiveness of niacin and lovastatin in the treatment of dyslipidemias in patients enrolled in a health maintenance organization (HMO).
These results suggest that both niacin and lovastatin are effective in treating dyslipidemic patients in this care system, and that physicians appropriately use lovastatin more often for patients with higher baseline LDL levels and more comorbidity.
Niacin and the HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor lovastatin are both effective in lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol but differ significantly in their mechanism of action, dosing, and cost.[7,8] We conducted an historical cohort study to compare the use and effectiveness of niacin and lovastatin in dyslipidemic patients enrolled in a large health maintenance organization (HMO).
Table 1 shows the demographic and clinical characteristics of the patients initially treated with niacin and lovastatin. Of patients treated with lovastatin, 57% were men, while 54% of patients treated with niacin were women.
Differences in the baseline LDL-cholesterol levels of patients treated with niacin and lovastatin are shown in Table 2.