Discontinuation of Statins: What Are the Risks?

Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2016 Jul;18(7):41. doi: 10.1007/s11883-016-0596-z.


The key benefits of statin therapy have been well established in both primary and secondary prevention cardiovascular patients. Many studies have shown a significant statin discontinuation rate within the first year of initiation whether for primary or secondary prevention. National guidelines for the management of dyslipidemia highlight the lack of benefit seen with statin therapy in patients with chronic kidney disease receiving dialysis, heart failure with reduced ejection fraction, and patients greater than 75 years of age without atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Available data outside of these patient populations do not support discontinuation of statin therapy. Recent studies support an association with statin discontinuation and increased risk of myocardial infarction and cardiovascular death. Based on the available data, discontinuation of statin therapy should be carefully considered.

Keywords: Adverse effects; Cardiovascular mortality; Cardiovascular risk; Discontinuation; Statins.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Dyslipidemias / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Myocardial Infarction / prevention & control
  • Risk Factors
  • Secondary Prevention


  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors