Statins: less than half of eligible patients say they’re offered them

  • J Am Heart Assoc

  • International Clinical Digest
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Takeaway

  • More than half of patients who are eligible to start statins say that they are not even offered them.
  • Patients who are offered and refuse or discontinue cite side effects concerns.
  • Patient willingness to take statins is high.

Why this matters

  • These findings suggest unmet needs and untaken opportunities.
  • An editorial accompanies the report. 

Key results

  • 59.2% of statin-eligible patients reported not having been offered them.
  • Reporting this was likelier among women, black, and/or uninsured patients.
  • 10.1% had declined the offer of a statin.
  • 30.7% had started statins but discontinued.
  • Most common reason for refusal or discontinuation was skepticism about safety: 
  • 70.4% of current users thought they were safe vs: 
    • 36.9% of those who declined, and 
    • 37.4% of those who discontinued.
  • 67.7% who were never offered said they were willing to try statins. 
  • 59.7% who discontinued said they might reconsider.

Study design

  • Data from 5693 patients in the Patient and Provider Assessment of Lipid Management registry. 
  • Surveyed about statin experiences, reasons for refusal, discontinuation, statin-related beliefs.
  • Funding: Sanofi; Regeneron Pharmaceuticals; others. 

Limitations

  • Statin use possibly overestimated.
  • Self-report data, subject to recall bias.

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