Impact of Race and Location of Residence on Statin Treatment Among Veterans With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Am J Cardiol. 2020 May 15;125(10):1492-1499. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2020.02.027. Epub 2020 Mar 5.


Rural residence and ethnic-minority status are individually associated with increased cardiovascular (CV) mortality. Statin therapy is known to reduce the risk of cardiovascular mortality. Although ethnic disparities in statin treatment exist, the joint impact of urban/rural residence and race/ethnicity on statin prescribing is unclear. Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid data were used to perform a longitudinal study of Veterans with Type 2 diabetes mellitus from 2007 to 2016. Mixed effects logistic regression with a random intercept was used to model the longitudinal association between the primary exposure (race/ethnicity and residence) and statin prescribing. After adjusting for covariates, non-Hispanic White (NHW)-Rural Veterans were 7% (odds ratio [OR] = 1.07; confidence interval [CI] 1.05 to 1.08), non-Hispanic Black (NHB)-Rural Veterans were 4% (OR 1.04; CI 1.00 to 1.08), and Hispanic-Urban Veterans were 20% (OR 1.20; CI 1.17 to 1.23) more likely to be prescribed statins versus NHW-Urban Veterans; whereas, NHB-Urban Veterans were 14% (OR 0.86; CI 0.85 to 0.55) and Hispanic-Rural Veterans were 10% (OR 0.90; CI 0.85 to 0.96) less likely. When disability and dual use were removed from the full model, compared with NHW-Urban, the odds of statin prescribing in NHW-Rural Veterans remained unchanged (OR 1.06; CI 1.04 to 1.07) whereas the odds of statin prescribing in all other groups were higher. In conclusion, NHB-Urban and Hispanic-Rural Veterans had lower odds of statin prescribing versus NHW-Urban Veterans; whereas NHW-Rural, NHB-Rural and Hispanic-Urban Veterans had higher odds. The findings in ethnic-minorities changed when we accounted for markers of VHA care (i.e., disability, dual use) showing that these individuals are more likely to receive statins when they receive more VHA care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / ethnology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / mortality
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Medicare
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data*
  • Residence Characteristics*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • United States
  • Veterans*


  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors