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Objectives This study sought to examine the effect of statin therapy hospitalizations for heart failure (HFH) in patients in the CORONA (Controlled Rosuvastatin Multinational Trial in Heart Failure) trial. Background HFH is an important, frequently recurrent event. Conventional time-to-first event analyses do not take account repeat events. We used a number of statistical approaches to examine the effect of treatment on first and repeat HFH in the CORONA trial. Methods In the CORONA trial, 5,011 patients ≥60 years of age with chronic New York Heart Association functional classes II to IV systolic heart failure resulting from ischemia were randomized to receive rosuvastatin or placebo. Poisson, Andersen-Gill, and negative binomial methods (NB) were used to analyze the effect of rosuvastatin on HFH, and the NB and a parametric joint frailty model (JF) were used to examine this effect while accounting for the competing risk of cardiovascular (CV) death. Rosuvastatin/placebo rate ratios were calculated, both unadjusted and adjusted. Results A total of 1,291 patients had 1 or more HFH (750 of these had a single HFH only), and there were a total of 2,408 HFHs. The hazard ratio for the conventional time-to-first event analysis for HFH was 0.91 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.82 to 1.02, p = 0.105). In contrast, the NB on repeat hospitalizations gave an unadjusted RR (RR) for HFH of 0.86 (95% CI: 0.75 to 0.99, p = 0.030), adjusted 0.82 (95% CI: 0.72 to 0.92, p = 0.001), and after including CV death as the last event, adjusted RR of 0.85 (95% CI: 0.77 to 0.94, p = 0.001). The JF gave an adjusted RR of 0.82 (95% CI: 0.73 to 0.92, p = 0.001). Similar results were found in analyses of all CV hospitalizations and all-cause hospitalizations. Conclusions When repeat events were included, rosuvastatin was shown to reduce the risk of HFH by approximately 15% to 20%, equating to approximately 76 fewer admissions per 1,000 patients treated over a median 33 months of follow-up. Including repeat events could increase the ability to detect treatment effects in heart failure trials.


Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research

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Journal Article

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