Statins Cut the Risk of a 2nd CV Event by Half, Compliance is Key


After a 1st Cardiovascular Event, Statins Cut The Risk Of a 2nd in Half | By Benjamin Ryan | |

People who have been diagnosed with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease reduce their risk of a subsequent major cardiovascular disease–related health event by nearly 50 percent if they take a statin over the long-term. That said, a recent analysis of a large patient population found that scant numbers of individuals diagnosed with any conditions under this cardiovascular umbrella—coronary artery disease, heart attack, cardiovascular disease and peripheral artery disease—actually stuck with their statin prescription.
Presenting their findings at the American College of Cardiology Scientific Sessions in New Orleans, researchers analyzed data on 5,468 patients who were covered by Select Health insurance in Salt Lake City and who had first been diagnosed with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease between 1999 and 2013. All of these individuals had received a statin prescription to lower their cholesterol within a year of their diagnosis and had five years of follow-up data.
The median age of the cohort was 56 years old. Seventy-seven percent were male. Just 351 cohort members, or 6.4 percent, were optimally adherent to their statin regimen, meaning they took their pills at least 80 percent of the time over a five-year period. Compared with all the other members of the cohort, these individuals had a 48 percent lower rate of major adverse clinical events, including a stroke, heart attack or death.
Compared with the other individuals, the optimally adherent cohort members were more likely to be male, have high blood pressure, have high blood lipids and to be diagnosed with coronary artery disease; they were less likely to be diabetic, smokers or have kidney failure. Of interest, one in four members of the study never filled their statin prescription and another one quarter only filled it once.

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