DISCOVERY-UK (the DIrect Statin COmparison of LDL-C Values: an Evaluation of Rosuvastatin therapY) was an open-label, parallel-group, multicentre study designed to compare the efficacy of recommended start doses of rosuvastatin with atorvastatin and simvastatin for reduction of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and goal attainment.
Patients with type IIa or type IIb hypercholesterolaemia and a 10-year coronary heart disease (CHD) risk > 20% or a history of CHD or other established atherosclerotic disease were randomised to receive rosuvastatin 10 mg, atorvastatin 10 mg or simvastatin 20 mg for 12 weeks.
Significantly greater LDL-C reductions were observed with rosuvastatin 10 mg compared with atorvastatin 10 mg and simvastatin 20 mg (50% versus 42% and 40%, both p<0.0001). The 1998 European goal (LDL-C < 3.0 mmol/L) was achieved by 89% of patients receiving rosuvastatin 10 mg, which was significantly more than patients receiving atorvastatin 10 mg (78%) and simvastatin 20 mg (72%) (both p<0.0001). Similar results were observed for the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III goal (LDL-C < 2.6 mmol/L) and 2003 European goals (LDL-C < 3.0 or < 2.5 mmol/L, depending on risk category). In conclusion, rosuvastatin is more effective than atorvastatin or simvastatin for lowering LDL-C and enabling patients to achieve lipid goals at recommended start doses.