Are High-Risk Hypertensive Patients being Prescribed Concomitant Statin Therapy?
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Treatment guidelines for dyslipidemic patients have focused on lipid levels and risk assessments. However, normolipidemic patients who have multiple risk factors for cardiovascular disease may also benefit from HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor (statin) therapy.
We examined the frequency of statin prescriptions in patients initiating antihypertensive drug treatment in a US managed-care setting.
Study Design and Patients
This retrospective cohort study used the PharMetrics’ Patient-Centric Database to identify enrollees initiating antihypertensive treatment (September 2001 to February 2004). Patients newly treated with antihypertensives and with various levels of coronary heart disease (CHD) risk (including dyslipidemia, established CHD, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and no CHD but three or more cardiovascular risk factors) were included in the study.
Main Outcome Measure
Cumulative probability of receiving statin therapy each month after antihypertensive initiation. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with receiving concomitant statin therapy.
Of 142 389 patients (mean age 51.7 years) newly treated with antihypertensives, 32 056 (22.5%) were prescribed statins within 1 year. The cumulative probability of being prescribed a statin increased with increasing numbers of CHD risk factors, irrespective of dyslipidemia status. After adjusting for age, sex, and other potential predictors, patients were more likely to receive statin therapy if they had a history of dyslipidemia (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 5.68 [95% CI 5.52, 5.85]), established CHD/congestive heart failure (AOR 3.39 [95% CI 3.16, 3.63]), or three or more additional cardiovascular risk factors but no CHD (AOR 3.01 [95% CI 2.74, 3.30]).
Among patients beginning antihypertensive treatment, those with established CHD or CHD risk factors were more likely to receive statins, but a substantial fraction did not fill any statin prescription. The increased use of statin therapy could benefit many hypertensive patients with additional CHD risk factors.