Persistence With Statins in Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease: Findings From a Cohort of Spanish Workers

Rev Esp Cardiol (Engl Ed). 2018 Jan;71(1):26-32. doi: 10.1016/j.rec.2017.04.002. Epub 2017 May 1.
[Article in En, Spanish]


Introduction and objectives: The aim of this study was to assess patterns of treatment persistence in a cohort of male Spanish workers receiving statin therapy for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease.

Methods: This descriptive study was conducted within the framework of the prospective longitudinal Aragon Workers' Health Study (N = 5400). Incident male statin users were identified based on data collected from the regional government's medication consumption information system. Patterns of treatment persistence with statins prescribed for primary cardiovascular disease prevention were assessed and the relevance of potential predictors explored.

Results: Among the 725 new statin users, less than one third remained persistent during the 1 year of follow-up. About 15% of nonpersistent users discontinued statin therapy after dispensation of the first prescription; of these, 42.1% did not recommence treatment within the following year. Factors reducing the likelihood of treatment discontinuation were older age (HR, 0.55; 95%CI, 0.39-0.77) and cotreatment with antihypertensive drugs (HR, 0.68; 95%CI, 0.56-0.82). No association was observed between treatment persistence and cotreatment with antidiabetic or antithrombotic drugs, baseline low-density lipoprotein levels, or total cholesterol levels. However, persistence was influenced by the type of statin first prescribed.

Conclusions: Our analysis of a cohort of healthy male workers revealed poor statin persistence. These findings underscore the need for a better understanding of patterns of statin use, especially in apparently healthy individuals, and for the incorporation of patient behavior into prescribing decisions.

Keywords: Cardiovascular disease; Discontinuation; Enfermedad cardiovascular; Farmacoepidemiología; Fármaco hipolipemiante; Interrupción; Lipid-lowering drug; Measurement; Medicación; Medication; Medición; Pharmacoepidemiology; Prevención primaria; Primary prevention.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / administration & dosage*
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Primary Prevention / methods*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Spain / epidemiology
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors