Study highlights need for interventions to improve statin use among older adults

In a British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology study of older adults prescribed statins, first-year nonadherence and discontinuation rates were high.

Among 22,340 Australians aged ≥65 years who initiated statin therapy from 2014 to 2015, 55.1% were nonadherent (did not take statins for at least 80% of the intended time) in the first year after receiving their prescription, and 44.7% had discontinued altogether. Age ≥85 years, diabetes, anxiety, and being initiated on statins by a general practitioner (as opposed to a specialist) were associated with higher likelihood of nonadherence and discontinuation, while hypertension, angina, congestive heart failure, and polypharmacy (concurrent use of ≥5 drugs) were associated with a lower likelihood of nonadherence and discontinuation.

“The study findings highlight the need for interventions to improve statin use among older adults—in order that the benefits of statins can be realized—and recognition that certain sub-groups of people may require additional attention,” said senior author Professor Danny Liew, of Monash University, in Australia.

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