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Can J Public Health. 2007 Sep-Oct;98(5):412-6.

Statin use in Canadians: trends, determinants and persistence.

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Centre for Chronic Diseases Prevention and Control, Public Health Agency of Canada, Ottawa, ON.



Regular statin use is an important tool in chronic disease management, lowering cholesterol levels and reducing risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). The objectives of this study are to describe statin use in Canada by comorbidity and lifestyle risk factors, and determine persistence in statin use.


The longitudinal National Population Health Survey, 1994-2002, is a random sample of the 1994 Canadian population and five interviews were conducted at two-year intervals. A total of 8,198 respondents, aged 20 in 1994, completed all five interviews. Information collected included demographic variables, medication use, CVD lifestyle risk factors, CVD, diabetes and hypertension.


Age-adjusted rates of statin use increased from 1.6% to 7.8% over the period 1994-2002. Statin use was higher with increasing age, diabetes, BMI, physician visits, and insurance for prescription medication. Although persons with CVD were more likely to take statins than those without, by 2002 still only 32.7% of heart patients were taking statins. Statin use did not increase linearly with increasing numbers of CVD risk factors or comorbidities. Of the 441 persons reporting statin use in 2000, 74.6% were still taking them in 2002. People who completed their high school education were more likely to continue taking statins than those who did not complete high school.


While statin use increased over time, was associated with CVD and diabetes, and to a lesser extent with increased BMI, a substantive underuse in high-risk patients remains. Helping high-risk people to increase statin use continues to be a priority for health care professionals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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