Background: Guidelines recommend nonstatin lipid-lowering agents in patients at very high risk for major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) if low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) remains ≥70 mg/dL on maximum tolerated statin treatment. It is uncertain if this approach benefits patients with LDL-C near 70 mg/dL. Lipoprotein(a) levels may influence residual risk. Objectives: In a post hoc analysis of the ODYSSEY Outcomes (Evaluation of Cardiovascular Outcomes After an Acute Coronary Syndrome During Treatment With Alirocumab) trial, the authors evaluated the benefit of adding the proprotein subtilisin/kexin type 9 inhibitor alirocumab to optimized statin treatment in patients with LDL-C levels near 70 mg/dL. Effects were evaluated according to concurrent lipoprotein(a) levels. Methods: ODYSSEY Outcomes compared alirocumab with placebo in 18,924 patients with recent acute coronary syndromes receiving optimized statin treatment. In 4,351 patients (23.0%), screening or randomization LDL-C was <70 mg/dL (median 69.4 mg/dL; interquartile range: 64.3-74.0 mg/dL); in 14,573 patients (77.0%), both determinations were ≥70 mg/dL (median 94.0 mg/dL; interquartile range: 83.2-111.0 mg/dL). Results: In the lower LDL-C subgroup, MACE rates were 4.2 and 3.1 per 100 patient-years among placebo-treated patients with baseline lipoprotein(a) greater than or less than or equal to the median (13.7 mg/dL). Corresponding adjusted treatment hazard ratios were 0.68 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.52-0.90) and 1.11 (95% CI: 0.83-1.49), with treatment-lipoprotein(a) interaction on MACE (Pinteraction = 0.017). In the higher LDL-C subgroup, MACE rates were 4.7 and 3.8 per 100 patient-years among placebo-treated patients with lipoprotein(a) >13.7 mg/dL or ≤13.7 mg/dL; corresponding adjusted treatment hazard ratios were 0.82 (95% CI: 0.72-0.92) and 0.89 (95% CI: 0.75-1.06), with Pinteraction = 0.43. Conclusions: In patients with recent acute coronary syndromes and LDL-C near 70 mg/dL on optimized statin therapy, proprotein subtilisin/kexin type 9 inhibition provides incremental clinical benefit only when lipoprotein(a) concentration is at least mildly elevated.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)421-433
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 3 Aug 2021


  • PCSK9 inhibitor
  • acute coronary syndrome
  • lipoprotein(a)
  • low-density lipoprotein cholesterol

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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