Twice as many deaths from cardiovascular disease would be prevented by increasing adherence to statin therapy from 50% to 75%, than by relaxing prescribing guidelines, according to a study.
The UK-based researchers compared reducing the risk threshold for prescribing statins – from the current level of a 20% chance of developing incident cardiovascular disease over 10 years to a 15.5% chance – and the effect of increasing adherence to the therapy by 50%.
Adherence to statin medication was reviewed in clinical trials and in normal practice by the researchers.
The study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, said: “Failure to take account of adherence levels that are typically achieved in practice can lead to an overestimation of the potential benefits from chemopreventive strategies.
“It may also inadvertently result in policies for the use of statins that fail to maximise benefits from their use.”
Copyright Press Association 2010