Reasons for Nonadherence to Statins - A Systematic Review of Reviews

Patient Prefer Adherence. 2020 Apr 2:14:675-691. doi: 10.2147/PPA.S245365. eCollection 2020.


Purpose: Lipid-lowering medications are often prescribed to decrease the risk of micro- and macro-cardiovascular complications related to dyslipidaemia. Despite widespread prescription of lipid-lowering drugs, including statins, adherence to therapy is a challenge worldwide. This systematic review of reviews aimed to conduct a critical appraisal and synthesis of review findings and to provide an overview of the factors that were found to affect adherence to lipid-lowering drugs, focusing on statins, in the reviews.

Patients and methods: A systematic review methodology was used. MEDLINE, Embase, and Epistemonikos databases were searched for relevant publications. AMSTAR 2 criteria were used to assess the quality of the selected publications.

Results: From a total of 763 screened publications, 9 met all inclusion criteria and were included in this synthesis. Several factors were identified as being associated with adherence to lipid-lowering agents. Among them, high socio-economic and educational position, and middle age had a positive effect on adherence to lipid-lowering agents. Contrary, female sex, older and younger age, non-white race, low socio-economic position, high co-payments, being a new statin user, comorbidities, side effects, regimen complexity, type and intensity of statin dose, smoking, alcohol consumption, imperceptible benefits, and medical distrust contributed to non-adherence. The overall quality of the included reviews was considered critically low to moderate.

Conclusion: This review of reviews has evaluated the impact of factors on adherence statins. Further research related to modifiable predictors for non-adherence is warranted.

Keywords: adherence; dyslipidaemia; lipid-lowering drugs; nonadherence; review; statins.

Publication types

  • Review