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J Clin Lipidol. 2019 May - Jun;13(3):415-424. doi: 10.1016/j.jacl.2019.04.011. Epub 2019 May 18.

The STatin Adverse Treatment Experience Survey: Experience of patients reporting side effects of statin therapy.

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National Lipid Association Health Quality and Research Committee, Jacksonville, FL, USA; Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA. Electronic address:
National Lipid Association Health Quality and Research Committee, Jacksonville, FL, USA; Grady Memorial Hospital, Atlanta, GA, USA.
National Lipid Association Health Quality and Research Committee, Jacksonville, FL, USA.
Amgen Inc, Thousand Oaks, CA, USA.
Health Research Associates, Mountlake Terrace, WA, USA.



It is important to understand patients' experiences of statin-associated adverse effects to potentially identify those at risk for stopping treatment.


The goal of the STatin Adverse Treatment Experience survey was to describe patients' experiences after reporting ≥1 recent statin-associated adverse event and identify opportunities to improve adherence and outcomes.


The survey was developed in 3 stages: qualitative item development, pilot evaluation of initial item performance, and quantitative evaluation using a large commercial sample. Respondents with self-reported high cholesterol who had taken a statin in the past 2 years and experienced ≥1 statin-associated symptom in the past 6 months were included (N = 1500).


Mean age was 58 years, 40.3% were men, and 43.2% had tried ≥2 statins. Many had clinical comorbidities associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease (atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, 22.5%; diabetes, 25.8%; hypertension, 56.0%). The most important patient-reported reasons for continuing current statin therapy (n = 1168; 77.9%) were avoiding a heart attack or stroke, lowering cholesterol, and doctor recommendation. Being bothered by and not being able to tolerate side effects were the main reasons respondents discontinued statins (n = 332; 22.1%). Respondents who discontinued statins reported significantly higher mean Symptom Severity (10.6 vs 8.7, P < .001) and Impact Severity scores (11.8 vs 9.8, P < .001) compared with those who continued.


The STatin Adverse Treatment Experience survey highlights the importance of patients' adverse experiences with statins and how symptom and impact scores affect decisions to continue or discontinue therapy. These data provide a foundation to increase providers' awareness of statin tolerability from the patient's perspective and encourage benefit-risk discussions.


Adherence; Adverse experience; Discontinuation of therapy; Hypercholesterolemia; Patient's perspective; Patient-reported outcomes; Shared decision-making; Statin therapy; Statin-associated symptoms; Symptom impact


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