Send to

Choose Destination
JAMA. 2002 Jul 24-31;288(4):462-7.

Adherence with statin therapy in elderly patients with and without acute coronary syndromes.

Author information

Department of Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation, Pharmacy Department and Women's Health Program, University Health Network-Toronto General Hospital, 200 Elizabeth St, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5G 2C4.



Landmark clinical trials have demonstrated the survival benefits of statins, with benefits usually starting after 1 to 2 years of treatment. Research prior to these trials of older lipid-lowering agents demonstrated low levels of 1-year adherence.


To compare 2-year adherence following statin initiation in 3 cohorts of patients: those with recent acute coronary syndrome (ACS), those with chronic coronary artery disease (CAD), and those without coronary disease (primary prevention).


Cohort study using linked population-based administrative data from Ontario.


All patients aged 66 years or older who received at least 1 statin prescription between January 1994 and December 1998 and who did not have a statin prescription in the prior year were followed up for 2 years from their first statin prescription. There were 22,379 patients in the ACS, 36,106 in the chronic CAD, and 85,020 in the primary prevention cohorts.


Adherence to statins, defined as a statin being dispensed at least every 120 days after the index prescription for 2 years.


Two-year adherence rates in the cohorts were only 40.1% for ACS, 36.1% for chronic CAD, and 25.4% for primary prevention. Relative to the ACS cohort, nonadherence was more likely among patients receiving statins in the chronic CAD (relative risk [RR], 1.14; 95% CI, 1.11-1.16) and primary prevention cohorts (RR, 1.92; 95% CI, 1.87-1.96).


Elderly patients with and without recent ACS have low rates of adherence to statins. This suggests that many patients initiating statin therapy may receive no or limited benefit from statins because of premature discontinuation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center