Do patients take high-intensity statins with high adherence after a myocardial infarction?
In this cohort study, 41.6% and 39.1% of patients aged 66 to 75 years and older than 75 years, respectively, who filled a high-intensity statin prescription within 30 days after a myocardial infarction hospitalization continued taking this medication with high adherence at 2 years postdischarge.
A substantial proportion of patients filling high-intensity statin prescriptions following a myocardial infarction do not continue taking this medication with high adherence and may benefit from interventions aimed to improve high-intensity statin use.
High-intensity statins are recommended following myocardial infarction. However, patients may not continue taking this medication with high adherence.
To estimate the proportion of patients filling high-intensity statin prescriptions following myocardial infarction who continue taking this medication with high adherence and to analyze factors associated with continuing a high-intensity statin with high adherence after myocardial infarction.
Design, Setting, and Participants
Retrospective cohort study of Medicare patients following hospitalization for myocardial infarction. Medicare beneficiaries aged 66 to 75 years (n = 29 932) and older than 75 years (n = 27 956) hospitalized for myocardial infarction between 2007 and 2012 who filled a high-intensity statin prescription (atorvastatin, 40-80 mg, and rosuvastatin, 20-40 mg) within 30 days of discharge. Beneficiaries had Medicare fee-for-service coverage including pharmacy benefits.
Sociodemographic, dual Medicare/Medicaid coverage, comorbidities, not filling high-intensity statin prescriptions before their myocardial infarction (ie, new users), and cardiac rehabilitation and outpatient cardiologist visits after discharge.
Main Outcomes and Measures
High adherence to high-intensity statins at 6 months and 2 years after discharge was defined by a proportion of days covered of at least 80%, down-titration was defined by switching to a low/moderate-intensity statin with a proportion of days covered of at least 80%, and low adherence was defined by a proportion of days covered less than 80% for any statin intensity without discontinuation. Discontinuation was defined by not having a statin available to take in the last 60 days of each follow-up period.
Approximately half of the beneficiaries were women and fourth-fifths were white. At 6 months and 2 years after discharge among beneficiaries 66 to 75 years of age, 17 633 (58.9%) and 10 308 (41.6%) were taking high-intensity statins with high adherence, 2605 (8.7%) and 3315 (13.4%) down-titrated, 5182 (17.3%) and 4727 (19.1%) had low adherence, and 3705 (12.4%) and 4648 (18.8%) discontinued their statin, respectively. The proportion taking high-intensity statins with high adherence increased between 2007 and 2012. African American patients, Hispanic patients, and new high-intensity statin users were less likely to take high-intensity statins with high adherence, and those with dual Medicare/Medicaid coverage and more cardiologist visits after discharge and who participated in cardiac rehabilitation were more likely to take high-intensity statins with high adherence. Results were similar among beneficiaries older than 75 years of age.
Conclusions and Relevance
Many patients filling high-intensity statins following a myocardial infarction do not continue taking this medication with high adherence for 2 years postdischarge. Interventions are needed to increase high-intensity statin use and adherence after myocardial infarction.
Colantonio LD, Huang L, Monda KL, Bittner V, Serban M, Taylor B, Brown TM, Glasser SP, Muntner P, Rosenson RS. Adherence to High-Intensity Statins Following a Myocardial Infarction Hospitalization Among Medicare Beneficiaries. JAMA Cardiol. Published online April 19, 2017. doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2017.0911