Negative Statin News May be Associated With Early Discontinuation, CVD Mortality

Negative statin-related news stories may be associated with early statin discontinuation, and consequently may increase the risk of myocardial infarction and cardiovascular disease mortality, according to a study published Dec. 1 in European Heart Journal.

The study looked at 674,900 Danish individuals ages 40 or older who were using statins from 1995 to 2010. The authors identified 1,931 statin-related news stories from January 1995 and onwards in Danish newspapers, magazines, radio, television, websites and news agencies and assessed the effect on statin discontinuation.

Results showed that individuals on statins increased from <1 percent in 1995 to 11 percent in 2010, however early statin discontinuation increased from 6 percent in 1995 to 18 percent in 2010.

“We found that exposure to negative news stories about statins was linked to stopping statins early and explained two percent of all heart attacks and one percent of all deaths from cardiovascular disease associated with early discontinuation of statins,” said Børge Nordestgaard, MD, DMSc, chief physician at Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark and a co-author of the study.

“Although we cannot say for sure that statin-related negative news stories cause the early discontinuation of statins, our findings suggest that this is likely. And although this type of association research cannot prove causality, our data suggest that early discontinuation of statins leads to unnecessary heart attacks and deaths from cardiovascular disease,” he adds.

The authors conclude that moving forward, their findings “suggest a need for protocols aimed at increasing early adherence to stain therapy.”

Clinical Topics: Dyslipidemia, Nonstatins, Novel Agents, Statins

Keywords: Cardiovascular Diseases, Coloring Agents, Denmark, Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors, Myocardial Infarction, Risk

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