Background: Inflammatory reactions and oxidative stress, which are important in progression of atherosclerosis, are reported to be increased in individuals with metabolic syndrome (MetS). On the other hand, adiponectin levels are lowered. Since effects of pitavastatin on these parameters have not been reported in hypercholesterolemic patients with MetS, the present study was conducted. Purpose: To evaluate the effects of pitavastatin on inflammatory reaction, oxidative stress, and plasma adiponectin levels in hypercholesterolemic MetS patients in a multicenter trial. Methods: This open-label, single group study was performed at 7 hospitals in Japan. Pitavastatin (2. mg/day) was administered to 103 consecutive patients with hypercholesterolemia, subdivided into MetS and non-MetS for 12 weeks. Blood samples were collected after overnight fasting at the start of treatment (baseline) and after 12 weeks. Results: In the patients with MetS (n=69), mean values of plasma high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) were significantly higher and mean values of plasma high-molecular-weight (HMW)-adiponectin significantly lower than in their counterparts without MetS (n=34). The baseline HMW-adiponectin and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) values significantly correlated only in the MetS patients (r=0.318; p=0.01). In an effectiveness analysis including 94 patients (62 with MetS, 32 without MetS), the level of hs-CRP was significantly decreased in patients with MetS during the drug treatment, whereas HMW-adiponectin did not change. When patients with MetS were divided into two subgroups according to the percent changes in HDL-C, significantly greater increase in HMW-adiponectin by pitavastatin treatment was observed in the HDL-C ≥10% increase subgroup than in the HDL-C <10% increase subgroup (p=0.009). Conclusion: Twelve weeks administration of pitavastatin, in addition to the antihyperlipidemic effects, may be beneficial as an anti-atherosclerotic therapy in hypercholesterolemic patients with MetS, taking changes in hs-CRP and HMW-adiponectin into consideration. ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00444717.
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