Seniors noncompliant, study finds

elderly older man senior aged care

Older Australians aren’t taking their statins consistently, new research has found

Researchers from Monash University examined 22,340 adults aged 65 and over who started taking statins between 2014 and 2015.

They then estimated the first-year nonadherence (proportion of days covered [PDC] <0.80) and discontinuation (≥90 days without statin coverage) rates.

“Predictors of nonadherence and discontinuation were examined via multivariable logistic regression,” they write in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

“Analyses were performed separately for general beneficiaries (with a higher co‐payment; n=4,841) and concessional beneficiaries (with a lower co‐payment; n=17,499).”

At a one-year follow-up, 55.1% of the patients were not compliant with their statins regime – 52.6% of the concessional patients, and 64.2% of the general beneficiaries.

And 44.7% had discontinued statins (concessional 43.1%; general beneficiaries 50.4%).

“Among concessional beneficiaries, those aged 75‐84 years and 85 years were more likely to discontinue than people aged 65‐74 years, (odds ratio 1.11, 95% confidence interval 1.04‐1.19 and 1.38, 1.23‐1.54, respectively).”

Those with diabetes were more likely to discontinue the therapy or take it inconsistently, while hypertension, angina and congestive heart failure were associated with a lower likelihood of nonadherence and discontinuation.

“Anxiety was associated with an increased likelihood of discontinuation but polypharmacy (concurrent use of ≥5 drugs) was associated with a lower likelihood of nonadherence and discontinuation,” the authors write.

“Statin initiation by a general medical practitioner was associated with both increased likelihood of nonadherence and discontinuation. Similar predictors of nonadherence and discontinuation were identified for the general beneficiaries.”

“The study findings highlight the need for interventions to improve statin use among older adults—in order that the benefits of statins can be realized—and recognition that certain sub-groups of people may require additional attention,” said senior author Professor Danny Liew, of Monash University, in Australia.

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  1. kyren

    Oh no this is shocking; old people not obeying orders and taking dangerous drugs. How dare they try to run their own lives! I’m sure pharmacists would like the power to enforce compliance and just ignore the huge conflict of interest here. Do you have no shame? Is the nothing you won’t stoop to for more profit? Perhaps old people have read the truth about statins and don’t think the side effects are worth it. I think you should leave them the hell alone.

  2. Apotheke

    Has any reputable academic study been done on the benefits of “statins” in patients over the age of 75 years older? When I say a reputable study I mean one NOT funded by or influenced in any way by the drug companies that push these drugs for profit.Until such a study shows unequivocal benefit on morbidity and mortality in the elderly then I think our elders are simply displaying good old commen sense and being intelligently non compliant. Most drug trials exclude the elderly and results from people 10 and 20 years younger simply cannot be extrapolated to this group. That is a logical trap that doctors fall in to.

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