Rationale and design of the standard versus intensive statin therapy for hypercholesterolemic patients with diabetic retinopathy (EMPATHY) study: A randomized controlled trial

Kenji Ueshima, Hiroshi Itoh, Nobuaki Kanazawa, Issei Komuro, Ryozo Nagai, Masahiro Takeuchi, Tsutomu Yamazaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aim: Hyperlipidemia and diabetic retinopathy increase the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). The standard versus intEnsive statin therapy for hypercholesteroleMic Patients with diAbetic retinopaTHY (EMPATHY) study examines whether intensive lipid-lowering therapy is superior to standard therapy in reducing the incidence of cardiovascular events in patients with hyperlipidemia and diabetic retinopathy, but without a history of coronary artery disease. Methods: Patients who had elevated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and diabetic retinopathy without a history of coronary artery disease were eligible for the study. Patients were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive intensive or standard therapy. Patients are being treated with monotherapy with 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase inhibitor (statin) for a maximum of 5.5 years to achieve the following LDL-C target: <70 mg/dL for the intensive therapy group or ≥ 100 and <120 mg/dL for the standard therapy group. The primary endpoint is a composite of incidence of CVD and death from CVD. Results: Between May 2010 and October 2013, 5,995 patients were assessed for eligibility, and 5,144 were assigned to the study treatment (2,571 and 2,573 in the intensive and standard therapy groups, respectively), and baseline data were analyzed from 5,107 (2,550 in the intensive therapy group and 2,557 in the standard therapy group). Conclusions: This is the first study assessing the benefits of intensive statin therapy in patients with hypercholesterolemia and diabetic retinopathy in a primary prevention setting. Furthermore, this study evaluates the appropriateness of the treat-to-target approach because all patients are treated to achieve specific LDL-C targets by titrating statin therapy. Clinical Trial Registration Number: UMIN000003486.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)976-990
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of atherosclerosis and thrombosis
Volume23
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Dyslipidemia
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA reductase inhibitors
  • Primary prevention
  • Randomized controlled trial

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Biochemistry, medical

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