High-Intensity Statin Adherence Post-Myocardial Infarction

HealthDay News — Many myocardial infarction patients aren’t taking statins as recommended, according to a brief report published online in JAMA Cardiology.

The study included information from 29,932 Medicare patients between 66 and 75 years old. It also included 27,956 Medicare patients over age 75. All had been hospitalized for myocardial infarction between 2007 and 2012. All of these patients filled a prescription for 40 to 80 mg of atorvastatin or 20 to 40 mg of rosuvastatin within 30 days of being discharged from the hospital.

The researchers found that the proportion of Medicare patients taking these high-intensity statins increased over the study period. However, even 6 months after discharge, only 58.9% of patients were taking these high-intensity statins as recommended. Certain groups of patients — blacks, Hispanics, and new users of high-intensity statins — were less likely than others to stick to the regimen. The study authors said the results were similar for patients over 75 years old.

Individuals eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid were most likely to take their statin. Others who were compliant included patients with more cardiologist visits after discharge and those who participated in cardiac rehabilitation. The study authors suggested that lower medication costs, greater follow-up by cardiologists, and patient participation in cardiac rehabilitation may improve high-intensity statin use.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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Colantonio LD, Huang L, Monda KL, et al. Adherence to high-intensity statins following a myocardial infarction hospitalization among medicare beneficiaries [published online April 19, 2017]. JAMA Cardiol. doi: 10.1001/jamacardio.2017.0911