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Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2008 Feb;10(1):19-24.

Recognizing and improving patient nonadherence to statin therapy.

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Office of Commissioner, Suffolk County Department of Health Services, 225 Rabro Drive East, Hauppauge, NY 11788, USA.


Despite landmark trials demonstrating the benefits of statin therapy for lipid lowering and in the primary and secondary prevention of acute coronary events, many patients do not adhere to medication regimens. Although incremental gains have been made in lowering the absolute levels of total serum cholesterol in the general population, only one third of treated patients are achieving their lipid goals, with fewer than 20% of patients with cardiovascular disease at their target lipid goals. Only half of patients continue taking statins prescribed to them at 6 months, and only 30% to 40% continue taking them at 1 year. Predictors of poor adherence to statins are described, such as female gender and low socioeconomic status. Approaches that are physician focused and patient centered, such as frequent follow-up and serum lipid testing and better education of patients about cardiovascular disease, are suggested to offset a major impediment to achieving the full therapeutic outcomes promised by clinical trials.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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