Current research from the University of Nottingham has identified that more than half of the subjects taking statins did not optimally reduce their cholesterol, placing those patients at an enhanced risk of a heart attack or stroke.
For the 56 million U.S. adults, 40 or older, who possess high cholesterol, statins can be a lifesaver. The American Heart Association has long supported statin treatment as a way to lower LDL cholesterol and decrease the risk of a heart attack or stroke in patients who already have heart illness or who exhibit risk factors, such as being obese or smoking, having high cholesterol, diabetes, or high blood pressure.
The research is done
“Several dozen trials in the past 30 years have shown effectiveness and security of these medicines in cardiovascular risk mitigation,” remarks Dr. Rhanderson Cardoso, a cardiology professor at Johns Hopkins Medicine, Division of Cardiology.
While the research did not detail the grounds for patients having a suboptimal answer, one reason may be that the patients were not taking the right statin.
According to Cardoso, those research participants with a less than optimal acknowledgment were appointed lower-intensity statin treatment, and the research used the standard of a 40% reduction in LDL-C that only applies to patients began on high-intensity statin therapy. When it comes to primary opposition, most patients are caused by a moderate-intensity statin, which only decreases LDL-C by 30-50% on average.
“Consequently, over a 40% reduction in LDL-C is not demanded across the board in first prevention patients,” states Cardoso.
The study recommended but did not detail the extent of noncompliance. While some patients’ statin regimen may need adjusting to work more efficiently, the most common reason that regimens don’t work is that patients don’t take the statin.
“It is almost difficult for patients not to decrease cholesterol if they take a statin as designated,” states Joseph Saseen, PharmD, professor and vice-chair, department of clinical medicine, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. “Some may not see an optimal reduction, but if cholesterol is not reduced, it is 99.99% because of nonadherence.”
In some instances, patients don’t take statins as directed because they don’t completely comprehend the purpose of their prescription or have mistakes that lead them to be skeptical of the advantages versus ventures.
“Pharmacologists are in a single position to help out with this, as we are the last step between picking up the direction and taking medicine regularly to reduce the risk of medical harm (heart attacks, strokes, etc.),” states Saseen.
There are several reasons patients may not fill or refill a statin medicine. One is the lack of apparent symptoms linked with elevated cholesterol. Patients may have an order, but they don’t feel sick.
“It’s not like having the flu, where you feel symptoms and take something to feel more vigorous,” states Stefanie Ferreri, PharmD, and APhA spokesperson. “You take a statin because a doctor says you too, but you don’t feel ill. That’s why patient training—every time a patient fills a prescription—is an essential part of assuring that patients will continue to take their medicines. The study did not touch on patient education.”
Contemporary research from the University of Nottingham found that more than half of the patients taking statins did not optimally lower their cholesterol, putting those patients at an enhanced risk of a heart attack or stroke.
To Sum Up
For the 56 million U.S. adults, 40 or older, who have high cholesterol, statins can be a lifesaver. The American Heart Association has long supported statin therapy as a way to lower LDL cholesterol and reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke in patients who previously have heart illness or who exhibit risk factors, such as being obese or smoking, having high cholesterol, diabetes, or high blood pressure.
“Several dozen trials in the past 30 years have exhibited effectiveness and safety of these medicines in cardiovascular risk mitigation,” says Dr. Rhanderson Cardoso, a cardiology fellow at Johns Hopkins Medicine, Division of Cardiology.