MRC/BHF Heart Protection Study 2003

Last reviewed 07/2019

The MRC/BHF Heart Protection Study 2003 was a randomised, placebo-controlled trial that investigated the potential benefits of treating type II diabetics with simvastatin. Type II diabetics are known to be at increased risk of cardiovascular disease despite having levels of LDL-cholesterol that are similar to the general population. Most diabetics do not receive statins and the evidence about the effects of lowering cholesterol in diabetics has been limited.

The trial recruited 5963 patients with a diagnosis of diabetes and 14573 patients with occlusive vascular disease but without a diagnosis of diabetes. Patients were randomised to 40 mg simvastatin daily or identical placebo for a 5 year period.

Prespecified end-points were:

  • first major coronary event:
    • non-fatal MI
    • coronary death
  • first major vascular event:
    • coronary event
    • stroke
    • revascularisation procedure