It appeared that 23 studies (sample size range: 16 to 454) were included in the review of intervention studies, but not all of these were included in the meta-analysis. Seven studies were described as randomised double-blind controlled trials.
In familial hypercholesterolaemia patients, Statins were associated with significant improvements in arterial properties, shown by increased brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (MD 5.39%, 95% CI 2.86 to 7.92; I2=92.5%; six studies). In familial hypercholesterolaemia patients that had previously received no treatment or below optimum statin therapy, statins decreased carotid artery intima-media thickness (MD -0.025 mm, 95% CI -0.042 to 0.009 mm; I2= 78.9%; five studies)
In familial combined hyperlipidaemia patients, limited data (three studies) showed that statins were associated with significantly increased brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (MD 2.06%, 95% CI 0.43 to 3.69).
In meta-regression analyses, changes in brachial artery flow-mediated dilation were significantly related to the product of duration and intensity. In addition to these moderators, age, and the reduction of total and low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels were significant influences on changes in carotid artery intima-media thickness.
There were no other statistically significant differences. Sensitivity analysis did not materially alter the finding for brachial artery flow-mediated dilation in familial hypercholesterolaemia patients.
There was no evidence of publication bias.