A recent study published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes has revealed that high-intensity statins are not being utilized enough in the routine care of patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). The researchers analyzed data from electronic health records of 322,153 patients with ASCVD from 92 health systems in the U.S. between 2017 and 2018.
The study found that only 39.4 percent of patients with ASCVD were prescribed high-intensity statins, despite recommendations from guidelines. Among the patients, 76.1 percent were on statins, but a significant portion were only on low/moderate-intensity statins. Men were more likely to receive high-intensity statins compared to women. Age was also a factor, with lower odds of statin use observed with increasing age.
Furthermore, the study revealed that a majority of patients (61.3 percent) had elevated LDL-C levels at baseline, indicating a need for more aggressive lipid-lowering therapy. However, only 45.3 percent of patients achieved the target LDL-C level of less than 70 mg/dL after one year.
The authors of the study emphasize the need for concerted efforts to address therapeutic inertia in lipid management for patients with ASCVD. This includes optimizing the use of high-intensity statins and ensuring that patients are receiving guideline-based lipid-lowering therapy.
It is important to note that several authors of the study have disclosed ties to the pharmaceutical industry.
Navar, A.M. et al. (2023). Gaps in Guideline-Based Lipid-Lowering Therapy for Secondary Prevention in the United States: A Retrospective Cohort Study of 322,153 Patients. Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. DOI: 10.1161/CIRCOUTCOMES.122.009787