Negative statin-related news stories decrease statin persistence and increase myocardial infarction and cardiovascular mortality: a nationwide prospective cohort study

Eur Heart J. 2016 Mar 14;37(11):908-916. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehv641. Epub 2015 Dec 1.


Aim: We tested the hypothesis that statin-related news stories, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, statin dose, calendar year, and socio-demographic status are associated with early statin discontinuation. We also examined frequency and consequences of early statin discontinuation.

Methods and results: From the entire Danish population, we studied 674 900 individuals aged 40 or older who were initiated on statin therapy in 1995-2010, and followed them until 31 December 2011. Individuals on statins increased from <1% in 1995 to 11% in 2010, while early statin discontinuation increased from 6% in 1995 to 18% in 2010. The odds ratios for early statin discontinuation vs. continued use were 1.09 (95% confidence interval, 1.06-1.12) for negative statin-related news stories, 1.04 (1.02-1.07) per increasing calendar year, 1.04 (1.02-1.06) per increasing defined daily dose of statin, 1.05 (1.03-1.06) for male sex, 1.13 (1.11-1.15) for living in cities, 1.67 (1.63-1.71) for other ethnicity than Danish, 0.92 (0.90-0.94) for positive statin-related news stories, 0.73 (0.72-0.74) for baseline cardiovascular disease, and 0.91 (0.90-0.93) for baseline diabetes. During follow-up, the hazard ratios for individuals with vs. without early statin discontinuation were 1.26 (1.21-1.30) for myocardial infarction and 1.18 (1.14-1.23) for death from cardiovascular disease.

Conclusion: Early statin discontinuation increased with negative statin-related news stories, calendar year, statin dose, male sex, living in cities, and with other ethnicity than Danish, while the opposite was true for positive statin-related news stories and for baseline cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Early statin discontinuation was also associated with increased risk of myocardial infarction and death from cardiovascular disease.

Keywords: Death from cardiovascular disease; Myocardial infarction; Statin compliance; Statin-related news stories.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Communications Media / statistics & numerical data*
  • Denmark / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Information Dissemination
  • Male
  • Medication Adherence / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / epidemiology*
  • Prospective Studies


  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors