Cardiovascular Drugs and Therapy

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 311–316

Predictors of Adherence to Statins for Primary Prevention

  • Devin M. Mann
  • John P. Allegrante
  • Sundar Natarajan
  • Ethan A. Halm
  • Mary Charlson

DOI: 10.1007/s10557-007-6040-4

Cite this article as:
Mann, D.M., Allegrante, J.P., Natarajan, S. et al. Cardiovasc Drugs Ther (2007) 21: 311. doi:10.1007/s10557-007-6040-4



Statins are potent drugs for reducing cholesterol and cardiovascular disease; however, their effectiveness is significantly compromised by poor adherence. This prospective study was designed to identify potentially modifiable patient factors including medication, disease, and diet beliefs related to statin adherence.


Veterans (n = 71) given their first prescription of a statin for primary prevention were interviewed at baseline, 3 months, and 6 months regarding medication, disease, and diet beliefs along with self-reported statin adherence.


At 6-month follow-up, 55% of the cohort was non-adherent with 10% reporting never having started their statin, 50% reporting misconceptions about the duration of treatment and a median use of <2 months among those who discontinued their statin. Multivariate predictors of non-adherence were expected short treatment duration (OR = 3.6, 1.4–9.4), low perceived risk of myocardial infarction (OR = 3.1, 1.1–8.7), concern about potential harm from statins (OR = 2.5, 1.0–6.3), being Hispanic (OR = 3.9, 1.0–15.2), and younger age (OR = 4.2, 1.1–15.8).


Poor adherence to statins was common in this primary prevention population with frequent early discontinuation despite access to low-cost medicines. Patient factors regarding the perception of risk, toxic effects of medication, expected treatment duration, as well as socio-demographic factors, were significant predictors of poor adherence and warrant further exploration.

Key words

adherence cardiovascular disease statins primary prevention predictor health beliefs 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Devin M. Mann
    • 1
  • John P. Allegrante
    • 2
  • Sundar Natarajan
    • 3
  • Ethan A. Halm
    • 1
  • Mary Charlson
    • 4
  1. 1.Division of General Internal MedicineMount Sinai School of MedicineNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Teachers College and Mailman School of Public HealthColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Division of General Internal MedicineNew York University School of Medicine and the VA Medical CenterNew YorkUSA
  4. 4.Division of General Internal Medicine and Center for Complementary and Integrative, Weill Medical CollegeCornell UniversityNew YorkUSA

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