Sarraju A, Spencer-Bonilla G, Chung S, Gomez S, Li J, Heidenreich P, Palaniappan L, Rodriguez F., J Gen Intern Med. doi: 10.1007/s11606-021-07107-7. Online ahead of print., 2021 Sep 10
Background: There remains uncertainty regarding optimal primary atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) prevention practices for older adults.
Objective: To assess statin treatment patterns and incident ASCVD among older patients for primary prevention across the spectrum of ASCVD risk.
Design: Retrospective cohort study of participants without ASCVD aged 65-79 years. Patients were stratified by age (65-69, 70-75, > 75 years) and 10-year ASCVD risk category (low/borderline, intermediate, high) based on the Pooled Cohort Equations. Multivariable logistic regressions were used to identify predictors of moderate- or high-intensity statin prescriptions. Cox proportional models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) for incident ASCVD.
Participants: Patients aged 65-79 years without ASCVD from a Northern California health system.
Main Measures: Statin prescriptions and incident ASCVD events.
Key Results: There were 54,066 patients, with 10,288 (19%) aged > 75 years and 57% women. Compared with younger groups, adults > 75 years were less likely to be prescribed moderate- or high-intensity statin prescriptions across ASCVD risk groups (all p < 0.001); this persisted after multivariable adjustment including for ASCVD risk (odds ratio [OR] 0.80, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.74-0.86). Adults > 75 years were more likely to experience incident ASCVD (HR 1.42, 95% CI 1.23-1.63). Women (OR 0.85, 95% CI 0.81-0.89) and underweight older adults (OR 0.45, 95% CI 0.33-0.61) were also less likely to receive moderate- or high-intensity statins.
Conclusions: Among older adults aged 65-79 years without prior ASCVD, those > 75 years of age were less likely to receive moderate- or high-intensity statins regardless of ASCVD risk compared with their younger counterparts, while experiencing more incident ASCVD. Efforts are warranted to study the reasons for age-based differences in statin use in older adults, particularly those at highest ASCVD risk.