Statin adherence and the risk of major coronary events in patients with diabetes: a nested case-control study

Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2011 May;71(5):766-76. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2125.2010.03895.x.


Aims: To evaluate whether good statin adherence is associated with a reduced incidence of major coronary events (MCEs) among diabetic patients with and without coronary heart disease (CHD).

Methods: Using data derived by linkage of nationwide health databases in Finland, we conducted a nested case-control analysis of 3513 cases with an MCE, a composite of acute myocardial infarction and/or coronary revascularization, and 20,090 matched controls identified from a cohort of 60,677 statin initiators with diabetes. Cases and controls were matched according to gender, time of cohort entry and duration of follow-up and further classified to two risk groups according to the presence of CHD at statin initiation. The incidence of MCEs was compared between patients with good statin adherence (the proportion of days covered ≥80%) and patients with poor statin adherence (<80%). Odds ratios (OR) for MCEs were estimated by conditional logistic regression adjusting for several covariables.

Results: Good statin adherence was associated with a reduced incidence of MCEs in those with prior CHD [OR 0.84 (95% CI 0.74-0.95)] and in those without it [OR 0.86 (95% CI 0.78-0.95)]. The association persisted among those followed up for 5 years or longer [OR 0.77 (95% CI 0.58-1.02) and OR 0.79 (95% CI 0.66-0.94) respectively]. In sensitivity analyses, a reduced MCE incidence was observed also in those without any documented cardiovascular disease (CVD) at statin initiation [OR 0.87 (95% CI 0.78-0.96) overall and OR 0.80 (95% CI 0.66-0.97) for those followed up 5 years or longer].

Conclusions: In patients with diabetes, good adherence to statins predicts reduced incidence of MCEs irrespective of the presence of CHD at statin initiation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cardiovascular Agents / administration & dosage
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Coronary Disease / epidemiology
  • Coronary Disease / prevention & control*
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / epidemiology
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / prevention & control*
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Finland / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / administration & dosage*
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Medication Adherence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / epidemiology
  • Myocardial Infarction / prevention & control
  • Myocardial Revascularization / statistics & numerical data


  • Cardiovascular Agents
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors