Effects of policosanol in older patients with type II hypercholesterolemia and high coronary risk


Castano G, Mas R, Fernandez JC, Illnait J, Fernandez L, Alvarez E




J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci


BACKGROUND: The present study was undertaken to investigate the effects of policosanol in older patients with type II hypercholesterolemia and more than one concomitant atherosclerotic risk factor. METHODS: After 6 weeks on a lipid-lowering diet, 179 patients randomly received a placebo or policosanol at doses of 5 followed by 10 mg per day for successive 12-week periods of each dose. Policosanol (5 and 10 mg/d) significantly (p < .001) reduced low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C; 16.9% and 24.4%, respectively) and total cholesterol (TC; 12.8% and 16.2%, respectively), while significantly (p < .01) increasing (p < .001) high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) by 14.6% and 29.1%, respectively. RESULTS: Policosanol significantly decreased (p < .01) the ratios of LDL-C to HDL-C (29.1%) and TC to HDL-C (28%) at study completion, although triglycerides remained unchanged. Policosanol, but not the placebo, significantly improved (p .01) cardiovascular capacity, which was assessed using the Specific Activity Scale. No serious adverse experiences occurred in policosanol patients (p < .01), compared with seven adverse experiences (7.9%) reported by placebo patients. CONCLUSIONS: This study shows that policosanol is effective, safe, and well tolerated in older hypercholesterolemic patients.