Statin uptake low with substantial discontinuation rates in patients who survive cancer in the UK

  • Chidwick K & al.
  • BMC Cancer
  • 22 Oct 2018

  • curated by Antara Ghosh
  • UK Clinical Digest
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  • Uptake of statins in the United Kingdom is low among patients at high cardiovascular risk who either survive cancer or have no previous cancer record with no evidence of difference in uptake between the 2 groups.
  • Patients who survive cancer were more likely to discontinue statin particularly after first year of statin initiation.

Why this matters

  • Improved uptake of lipid-lowering treatment and persistence on therapy is required to alleviate higher cardiovascular risk in patients who survive cancer.

Study design

  • Study included 3,369,849 individuals (age, ≥40 years) from Clinical Practice Research Datalink between January 2005 and December 2013.
  • High cardiovascular risk cohort included 117,237 patients, of which 4202 survived cancer and 113,035 had no previous cancer.
  • Among patients who initiated statin, 12,142 patients survived cancer, whereas 366,280 patients had no previous cancer.
  • Funding: Sir Henry Dale Fellowship.

Key results

  • Among patients with high cardiovascular risk, 23.0% of patients who survived cancer vs 23.5% of patients without cancer initiated a statin within a month of first high cardiovascular risk score (aOR, 0.98; P=.626).
  • Risk for statin discontinuation was higher in patients who survived cancer vs those without previous cancer (HR, 1.07; P=.02).
  • Higher risk for statin discontinuation among patients who survived cancer vs control group was evident for second year of therapy (aHR, 1.09; P=.008) and >2 years after therapy initiation (aHR, 1.22; P<.001>


  • Over the counter statin therapy not captured.

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