HealthDay News — For patients with an adverse reaction to a statin, continued statin prescriptions are associated with lower incidence of cardiovascular events and death, according to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Huabing Zhang, MD, from the Peking Union Medical College Hospital in Beijing, and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study to examine the correlation between continuation of statin therapy after an adverse reaction and clinical outcomes. Participants had a presumed adverse reaction to a statin between 2000 and 2011.

The researchers found that 81% of the adverse reactions to statins were identified from electronic provider notes. Overall, 70.7% of the 28,266 study patients continued receiving statin prescriptions after the adverse reaction. 

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The cumulative incidence of the composite primary outcome (time to a cardiovascular event [myocardial infarction or stroke] or death) was 12.2% and 13.9% for patients with continued statin prescriptions vs those without (difference, 1.7%; 95% confidence interval, 0.8% to 2.7%; P <.001) at 4 years after the presumed adverse event. Overall, 26.5% of 7604 patients for whom a different statin was prescribed after the adverse reaction had a documented adverse reaction to the second statin; 84.2% of those patients continued receiving statin prescriptions.

“Continued statin prescriptions after an adverse reaction were associated with a lower incidence of death and cardiovascular events,” the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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Zhang H, Plutzky J, Shubina M, Turchin A. Continued statin prescriptions after adverse reactions and patient outcomes: a cohort study. Ann Intern Med. 2017 Jul 25. doi: 10.7326/M16-0838.