Older Adults Often Don't Take Statins as Directed

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More than half of older adults who are prescribed statin drugs don’t take their medication as recommended at least 80 percent of the time, and almost 45 percent stop taking the drug altogether during the first year, according to results of a study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

The study involved 22,340 Australians over age 65 in who were prescribed statins from 2014 to 2015. Statins are used to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk for heart attack, stroke, and death from heart disease.

According to the researchers, the following factors were associated with higher rates of not taking medication as directed or stopping medication without a doctor’s recommendation:

  • Age over 85
  • Anxiety
  • Diabetes
  • Prescription from a general practitioner rather than a specialist

These factors were associated with higher rates of statin compliance:

  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Angina (chest pain)
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Use of more than five medications

Sourced from: British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology