1 in 5 Folks at High Risk for ASCVD Refuse to Take a Statin

1 Mar 2023 • In a study published in JAMA Network, 20% of folks who are at high risk for heart disease refuse statins that could help prevent it, researchers report. It was found that women were about 20% more likely than men to decline statin drugs when they were first recommended and about 50% more likely to never accept a statin recommendation.

The study included more than 24,000 patients seen at Mass General Brigham in Boston between Jan. 1, 2000, and Dec. 31, 2018. It focused on high-risk patients who had coronary artery or vascular disease, diabetes, very high cholesterol or had suffered a stroke. “Even in this higher-risk patient population, so many people did not accept statin therapy,” Dr. Alex Turchin said.

About two-thirds of the patients for whom statin therapy was recommended eventually tried it. The rest never did. The biggest surprise was the high rate of refusal among women. Researchers wondered if a misconception that heart disease affects men more than women is a contributor.

Our study highlights the alarming number of patients who refuse statins and signals that physicians must have discussions with patients about why,” Dr. Alex Turchin, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston said in a hospital news release. “We need to better understand what our patients’ preferences are and to be able to provide more patient-centered care.”

Source: JAMA Network | Read full story

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