Nonadherence, Discontinuation of Statins High in 1st Year of Rx

Among older adults prescribed statins, diabetes, anxiety linked to nonadherence, discontinuation.
Among older adults prescribed statins, diabetes, anxiety linked to nonadherence, discontinuation.

HealthDay News — First-year nonadherence and discontinuation are high among older adults prescribed statins, according to a study published online November 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 (4841 participants with a higher copayment) and concessional beneficiaries (17,499 participants with a lower copayment). 

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The researchers found that 55.1% of participants were nonadherent (52.6 and 64.2% for concessional and general beneficiaries, respectively) and 44.7% discontinued statins (43.1 and 50.4% for concessional and general beneficiaries, respectively) during the 1-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) vs 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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