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Many older adults do not take prescribed statins properly

Peer Reviewed, Observational Study, Human

Published: 07 Nov 2018 in Journal news

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 realised – and recognition that certain sub-groups of people may require additional attention,” said senior author Professor Danny Liew, of Monash University, in Australia.