Statin Prescription Patterns and Associations with Subclinical Inflammation

Medicina (Kaunas). 2022 Aug 14;58(8):1096. doi: 10.3390/medicina58081096.


Background and Objectives: Statins have been extensively utilised in atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) prevention and can inhibit inflammation. However, the association between statin therapy, subclinical inflammation and associated health outcomes is poorly understood in the primary care setting. Materials and Methods: Primary care electronic health record (EHR) data from the electronic Practice-Based Research Network (ePBRN) from 2012−2019 was used to assess statin usage and adherence in South-Western Sydney (SWS), Australia. Independent determinants of elevated C-reactive protein (CRP) were determined. The relationship between baseline CRP levels and hospitalisation rates at 12 months was investigated. Results: The prevalence of lipid-lowering medications was 14.0% in all adults and 44.6% in the elderly (≥65 years). The prevalence increased from 2012 to 2019 despite a drop in statin use between 2013−2015. A total of 55% of individuals had good adherence (>80%). Hydrophilic statin use and higher intensity statin therapy were associated with elevated CRP levels. However, elevated CRP levels were not associated with all-cause or ASCVD hospitalisations after adjusting for confounders. Conclusions: The prevalence and adherence patterns associated with lipid-lowering medications highlighted the elevated ASCVD-related burden in the SWS population, especially when compared with the Australian general population. Patients in SWS may benefit from enhanced screening protocols, targeted health literacy and promotion campaigns, and timely incorporation of evidence into ASCVD clinical guidelines. This study, which used EHR data, did not support the use of CRP as an independent marker of future short-term hospitalisations.

Keywords: atherosclerosis; cardiovascular diseases; hospitalisations; inflammation; prescribing; statins.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Atherosclerosis* / diagnosis
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / drug therapy
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors* / therapeutic use
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Lipids
  • Prescriptions


  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Lipids