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CE Tan, LM Loh, ES Tai
Correspondence: Dr Tan Chee Eng, firstname.lastname@example.org
A substantial number of physicians in Asian countries believe that Asian patients need lower doses of statins to achieve therapeutic lipid target because of the smaller size of patients. This belief is deep rooted and we looked at the SGH Lipid Clinic to determine if our experience bears out this belief. Between 1996 and August 2000, the Lipid Unit treated a total of 841 patients, of which 548 patients (77.5% Chinese, 12.1% Malays, 7.6% Asian Indians; 49.6% males, 50.4% females; 54.7% diabetics, 45.3% non-diabetic) were on statins alone. These patients had > or =2 coronary risk factors, diabetes mellitus or documented coronary heart disease. The pre-treatment lipid levels or the worst lipid levels available were entered as the baseline lipid values (mean LDL-C: 5.38+1.5 mmol/l). Duration of therapy ranged from six months to five years. The choice and titration of statins were determined by attending physicians. The median statin dose (Simvastatin equivalent) was 20.0 mg with 52.5% requiring 20 mg or more. Statin dose did not differ between diabetic and non-diabetic subjects. The median statin dose was 15 mg for the lower two tertiles and 20 mg for the upper tertile; this difference did not achieve statistical significance. The reduction in LDL cholesterol was 41.5% (40.1-42.8) and total cholesterol was 33.0% (32.9-34.1). Only 25% of our patients achieved LDL cholesterol of less than 2.6 mmol/l whilst 77.5% had LDL cholesterol less than 3.4 mmol/l. Our experience at the Lipid Clinic suggests that the Asian patients require similar statin doses to achieve target cholesterol levels.
Keywords: asian patients, statins, LDL cholesterol, Body mass index, diabetes mellitus
Singapore Med J 2003; 44(12): 635-638