A link between the risk of dying and how often patients take their statins was identified by a large observational study. The researchers looked at how poor statin adherence affects mortality in patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). They identified almost 350,000 patients with documented ASCVD who were getting ongoing statin prescriptions. A “medication possession ratio” (MPR) was calculated for each patient to assess adherence. MPR is calculated by dividing the number of days of statin supplied during a 12-month period by the number of days that the patient was not hospitalized and alive during the period. About 25% of the patients died during an average follow-up period of nearly 3 years.
Patients who were taking statins less than 50% of the time had a 20% increase in mortality compared with those taking them at least 90% of the time. Women, minority groups, and patients younger and older than the age range of 65 to 74 years were the least adherent.
For patients on statins, it is important to check in regularly on adherence – ask them if they take their statin every day.
• Rodriguez F et al. JAMA Cardiol 2019 Feb 13; [e-pub].