BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Although recent lipid-lowering therapies are effective in reducing low density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) levels, many patients treated with lipid-lowering agents do not achieve target LDL-C levels, especially in very high risk patients. The aim of this study is to compare the effect of ezetimibe/simvastatin 10/20 mg and atorvastatin 20 mg on achieving a target LDL-C goal in very high risk patients. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: A total of 74 patients with very high risk were enrolled in the study. Very high risk patients were defined as patients that displayed established cardiovascular disease with multiple major risk factors, poorly controlled risk factors, multiple risk factors of the metabolic syndrome and acute coronary syndromes. Patients were randomized into two groups: ezetimibe/simvastatin 10/20 mg (n=36) and atorvastatin 20 mg (n=38). Follow-up lipid profile was obtained 6 weeks later. A target goal of LDL-C was defined as less than 70 mg/dL at follow-up. RESULTS: Baseline clinical and laboratory data were similar between the two groups. Achieving a target LDL-C goal was observed in 41.7% of Group 1 and 44.7% of Group 2 at 6 weeks (p=0.82). Changes in other lipid profiles were not significantly different but the tolerability of the two groups was similar. CONCLUSION: Ezetimibe/simvastatin 10/20 mg and atorvastatin 20 mg showed similar effects in achieving target LDL-C levels in patients with very high risk.