Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.


Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login



First-year statin discontinuation and non-adherence common in older adults

Study finds that older patients with anxiety or diabetes were more likely to be non-adherent or to discontinue their statin treatment. 

Statins blister packs


Statins are widely prescribed to older adults for the prevention of cardiovascular disease, but their effectiveness is hindered by poor adherence

A substantial proportion of older people who begin taking statins do not take them as intended, according to an Australian study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology (6 November 2018)[1].

The study used data on 22,340 people in Australia aged 65 years and over who began taking a statin between 2014 and 2015, and assessed whether they were non-adherent (took less than 80% of their prescribed medication) or discontinued treatment altogether.

During the one year follow-up, 55.1% were non-adherent and 44.7% discontinued statins entirely. The team found that people with diabetes were more likely to be non-adherent and discontinue treatment, and people aged 85 years and over who had anxiety were more likely to discontinue.

However, hypertension, angina and congestive heart failure were associated with a lower likelihood of non-adherence and discontinuation, as was polypharmacy.

The researchers said the findings suggested that additional attention may be needed for people in certain subgroups in order to improve adherence.

“The study findings highlight the need for interventions to improve statin use among older adults — in order that the benefits of statins can be realised — and recognition that certain sub-groups of people may require additional attention,” said senior author Danny Liew from Monash University in Australia.

Citation: Clinical Pharmacist DOI: 10.1211/CP.2018.20205865

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.