Statins: risk factors for nonadherence and discontinuation


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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A new study which investigated statin use among older adults has found that first-year nonadherence and discontinuation is high. 

The study included 22,340 Australians, aged at least 65 years, who initiated statin therapy from 2014 to 2015. 

It found 55.1 per cent were nonadherent and 44.7 per cent discontinued therapy. 

The likelihood of an older adult being nonadherent or discontinuing statin therapy varied according to individual demographics, lifestyle factors, comorbidities, statin type prescribed and prescriber characteristics. 

Nonadherance and discontinuation were particularly high among those aged over 85 years. Being initiated on statins by a general practitioner compared to a specialist/other professional was associated with higher likelihood of nonadherence and discontinuation, as was diabetes. Meanwhile, hypertension, angina, congestive heart failure and polypharmacy 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 realised, and recognition that certain sub-groups of people may require additional attention,” said senior author Professor Danny Liew of Monash University in Australia.

The findings are published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.