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Effect of cholesterol lowering treatment on positive exercise tests in patients with hypercholesterolaemia and normal coronary angiograms
  1. A P Mansur,
  2. C V Serrano Jr,
  3. J C Nicolau,
  4. L A M César,
  5. J A F Ramires
  1. Heart Institute, São Paulo University, Av Dr Enéas de Carvalho Aguiar 44, 05403-000 São Paulo, Brazil
  1. Dr Mansur. email: corantonio{at}


AIM To assess the impact of cholesterol lowering on positive exercise stress tests in hypercholesterolaemic patients with normal coronary angiograms.

METHODS 43 non-diabetic patients aged 43–61 years, with total serum cholesterol concentrations of more than 7.75 mmol/l, positive exercise tests, and normal coronary angiograms, were started on the American Heart Association step 1 diet. After 12 weeks these patients were randomly assigned to treatment for another 16 weeks with the diet alone (diet group, n = 20) or with the diet plus lovastatin or simvastatin (statin group, n = 23). After this 28 week run in period, statins were withdrawn and lipid profile tests and exercise tests were done and repeated 20 weeks later.

RESULTS At week 28, the statin group but not the diet group had significant reductions from baseline (week 12) in plasma total cholesterol (p < 0.0001), low density lipoprotein (p < 0.0001), and triglyceride (p < 0.0001). The number of patients with positive exercise tests decreased from 23 to three in the statin group and from 20 to 15 in the diet group (p = 0.01). After the final 20 weeks without statins, lipid profiles returned to baseline levels in all 17 patients remaining in the statin group, and exercise tests were again positive in 15 of these patients.

CONCLUSIONS In hypercholesterolaemic patients with normal coronary arteries, cholesterol lowering treatment reduces myocardial ischaemia, as shown by the beneficial effects on exercise testing.

  • hypercholesterolaemia
  • exercise stress testing
  • myocardial ischaemia
  • endothelium

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