Predictors of Statin Discontinuation Among Older Adults

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An increased likelihood of discontinuation was associated with anxiety, while polypharmacy correlated with a lower likelihood of nonadherence and discontinuation.
An increased likelihood of discontinuation was associated with anxiety, while polypharmacy correlated with a lower likelihood of nonadherence and discontinuation.

HealthDay News — First-year nonadherence and discontinuation are high among older adults prescribed statins, according to a study published online Nov. 7 in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

Richard Ofori-Asenso, from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, and colleagues estimated first-year nonadherence and discontinuation rates among 22,340 Australians aged ≥65 years who initiated statin therapy from January 2014 to December 2015. The authors assessed predictors of nonadherence and discontinuation. Analyses were performed separately for general beneficiaries (4,841 participants with a higher copayment) and concessional beneficiaries (17,499 participants with a lower copayment).

The researchers found that 55.1 percent of participants were nonadherent (52.6 and 64.2 percent for concessional and general beneficiaries, respectively) and 44.7 percent discontinued statins (43.1 and 50.4 percent for concessional and general beneficiaries, respectively) during the one-year follow-up. The likelihood of discontinuing was greater for concessional beneficiaries aged 75 to 84 years (odds ratio, 1.11) and those aged ≥85 years (odds ratio, 1.38) versus those aged 65 to 74 years. The likelihoods of nonadherence and discontinuation were increased in association with diabetes, while hypertension, angina, and congestive heart failure correlated with a reduced likelihood of nonadherence and discontinuation. An increased likelihood of discontinuation was associated with anxiety, while polypharmacy correlated with a lower likelihood of nonadherence and discontinuation.

"Our results reiterate the need for multifaceted interventions to reduce statin nonadherence and discontinuation among older adults," the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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