In a new study, researchers found the reasons why many people with heart disease don’t take statins as prescribed.
They found that people don’t have doctor’s guidance and they fear the side effects of statins.
The research was conducted by researchers from the Duke Clinical Research Institute in Durham.
Statins are a type of drug that could lower the amount of low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad” cholesterol) in the body.
LDL cholesterol has been found a big risk factor of heart disease and strokes.
Previous research has shown that statins could help lower the risks of heart attack and strokes. The drugs are effective and have a low risk of side effects.
Recent guidelines from the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology indicate that statins can protect people from a second heart attack and stroke.
However, many patients do not take statins and hence could not get a health benefit.
In the current study, the team examined the reasons.
They surveyed 5,693 adults (average age 68) who were eligible to take statins.
They found that 1,511 (26.5%) people were not currently taking statins. More than 50% of these patients were never offered the cholesterol-lowering drugs.
In addition, many patients experienced the side effects or fear the side effects so they stopped or refused to take statins.
But researchers also found that 59.7% of patients who discontinued a statin would consider retrying it.
The researchers suggest that doctors need to identify patients who need to be on a statin and provide them accurate information about the drugs’ effect.
In that way, patients will remember to take statins hand have no fear to do it.
The authors also suggest that misconceptions about statins are everywhere. They are fueled by false information on the internet.
Future work need to develop better tools to help combat this type of misinformation.
And if possible, doctors should not hesitate to re-approach the conversation about starting or re-trying statin therapy. Patients may like to take statins after a discussion with doctors.
The lead author of the study is Corey Bradley, M.D., a researcher at the Duke Clinical Research Institute in Durham.
Ann Marie Navar, M.D., Ph.D. is the senior author of the study and assistant professor of Medicine at the Duke Clinical Research Institute.
The study is published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, the Open Access Journal of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.
Copyright © 2019 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.