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The VA HDL Intervention Trial (HIT): Secondary Prevention of Coronary Heart Disease in Men With Low HDL-Cholesterol and Desirable LDL-Cholesterol (HIT)

This study has been completed.
Fournier Labs
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
VA Office of Research and Development Identifier:
First received: January 25, 2006
Last updated: October 20, 2015
Last verified: October 2015
This was a double-blind randomized trial comparing 1200 mg per day of gemfibrozil with placebo in 2531 men with coronary heart disease, an HDL-C of 40mg/dl or less, an LDL-C of 140 mg/dl or less, and triglycerides of 300mg/dl or less. The primary outcome was nonfatal myocardial infarction(MI) or death from coronary causes. The median follow-up was 5.1 years. There was a risk reduction of 22% in the primary outcome (p=.0006) and 24% risk reduction in the combined endpoint of stroke, MI, and CHD death. The rate of events was reduced by raising HDL-C and lowering triglycerides without lowering LDL-C (N Engl J Med 1999;341:410-418).

Condition Intervention Phase
Coronary Heart Disease Drug: gemfibrozil Other: Placebo Phase 3

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Quadruple (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: CSP #363 - The VA HDL Intervention Trial (HIT): Secondary Prevention of Coronary Heart Disease in Men With Low HDL-Cholesterol and Desirable LDL-Cholesterol

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by VA Office of Research and Development:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • incidence of nonfatal myocardial infarction or death from coronary heart disease [ Time Frame: 5 years ]

Enrollment: 2531
Study Start Date: June 1991
Study Completion Date: August 1999
Primary Completion Date: September 1998 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Active Comparator: Gemfibrozil
1200 mg slow-release gemfibrozil (Lopid-SR) once per day
Drug: gemfibrozil
Placebo Comparator: Placebo
Matching placebo tablets taken once per day
Other: Placebo
Matching placebo tablets taken once per day

  Hide Detailed Description

Detailed Description:

Primary Hypothesis:

To determine if drug treatment aimed at raising HDL-cholesterol and lowering triglycerides will reduce the rate of heart attack and death in veterans with coronary heart disease (CHD) and a specific lipid profile characterized by normal levels of LDL-cholesterol and low levels of HDL-cholesterol.

Secondary Hypotheses:

To determine the effect of treatment on total mortality, unstable angina, CABG, PTCA, strokes and PVD, and to determine whether there is an association between changes in plasma lipid levels and outcomes.

Primary Outcomes:

Myocardial infarction (MI), silent MI, and CHD death.


Gemfibrozil (1200 mg per day) versus matching placebo.

Study Abstract:

A double-blind trial was conducted comparing gemfibrozil with placebo in 2531 men with coronary heart disease, an HDL cholesterol level of 40 mg/dL or less, and an LDL cholesterol level of 140 mg/dL or less.

The median follow-up was 5.1 years. At one year, the mean HDL was 6% higher, the mean triglyceride were 31% lower, and the mean total cholesterol was 4% lower in the gemfibrozil group than in the placebo group. LDL levels did not differ between the groups.

A primary event (MI or death) occurred in 275 of the 1267 placebo patients (21.7%) and in 219 of the 1264 gemfibrozil patients (17.3%). The overall reduction in the risk of an event was 4.4 percentage points, and the reduction in relative risk was 22% (95% confidence interval, 7% to 35%; p=0.006). A 24% relative risk reduction occurred in the combined outcome of death from coronary heart disease, nonfatal myocardial infarction, and stroke (p<0.001). Gemfibrozil therapy resulted in a significant reduction in the risk of major cardiovascular events in patients with coronary disease whose primary lipid abnormality was a low HDL cholesterol level. The findings suggest that the rate of coronary events is reduced by raising HDL cholesterol levels and lowering levels of triglycerides without lowering LDL cholesterol levels.

The major findings were published in the New England Journal of Medicine in August, 1999. A paper on lipid screening was published in the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology in July, 1999 and one on clinical implications was published in the European Heart Journal. Our cost analysis shows that gemfibrozil therapy is highly cost-effective if not cost-saving, thus providing a strong rationale for incorporating results into clinical practice. A manuscript about lipids as predictors of endpoints was published in JAMA in March, 2001. Another paper on stroke was published in Circulation in June, 2001. Dr. Robins presented data on diabetics in November, 2000 at the AHA. A paper on cost-effectiveness was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in January 2002. A manuscript on diabetes has been accepted by the Archives of Internal Medicine.

A NHLBI grant for continuing analysis has been funded for two years. Other papers in progress include homocysteines in diabetics, fasting plasma insulin as a predictor of outcome, and the effect of lipoprotein subclass particle size on coronary events.


Ages Eligible for Study:   up to 73 Years   (Child, Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Male
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

Inclusion criteria:

  1. male gender
  2. age 73 or younger
  3. presence of CHD
  4. HDL-C le 40 mg/dl
  5. LDL-C le 140 mg/dl
  6. triglycerides le 300 mg/dl

Exclusion Criteria:

Exclusion criteria:

  1. significant medical illness
  2. alcohol or substance abuse
  3. evidence of cholecystitis or cholelithiasis
  4. ejection fraction of lt 35%
  5. current use of steroids, estrogens, immunosuppressive agents, oral coagulants, or lipid modifying drug.
  6. allergic to gemfibrozil or fibric acid
  7. refused informed consent
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00283335

United States, Minnesota
Minneapolis VA Health Care System, Minneapolis, MN
Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States, 55417
Sponsors and Collaborators
VA Office of Research and Development
Fournier Labs
Study Chair: Hanna E. Bloomfield, MD MPH Minneapolis VA Health Care System, Minneapolis, MN
  More Information


Responsible Party: VA Office of Research and Development Identifier: NCT00283335     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 363
Study First Received: January 25, 2006
Last Updated: October 20, 2015

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Heart Diseases
Coronary Disease
Coronary Artery Disease
Myocardial Ischemia
Cardiovascular Diseases
Vascular Diseases
Arterial Occlusive Diseases
Hypolipidemic Agents
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Lipid Regulating Agents
Cytochrome P-450 CYP2C8 Inhibitors
Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme Inhibitors
Enzyme Inhibitors processed this record on September 21, 2017