Statins in elderly patients with acute coronary syndrome: an analysis of dose and class effects in typical practice


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OBJECTIVE: To compare the effectiveness of statins of different treatment intensity used to treat elderly patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) in typical care settings. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study using linked hospital and pharmacy claims data. SETTING: Statewide pharmacy benefits programmes in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. PARTICIPANTS: 18,311 Medicare patients discharged alive after ACS who received a prescription for a statin within 90 days of hospital discharge. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Using multivariable and propensity-matched Cox proportional hazards regression models, patients who were prescribed high-intensity and moderate-intensity statins were compared based on the drug-dose combination that they initially received. Individual drug-dose combinations were also compared. Our primary outcome was the composite of all-cause death or recurrent ACS. RESULTS: Patients who received moderate-intensity statins were as likely to experience a primary outcome as patients treated with high-intensity statins (adjusted HR 1.02, 95% CI 0.96 to 1.08). Propensity matching did not change the results. Individually, all moderate-intensity statins were as effective as high-intensity atorvastatin with the exception of lovastatin (adjusted HR 1.22, 95% CI 1.09 to 1.36). Similarly, all high-intensity statins seem as effective as high-intensity atorvastatin but the CIs surrounding these estimates were wide. CONCLUSIONS: This analysis of elderly patients with ACS treated in typical care settings does not demonstrate the superiority of high-intensity over moderate-intensity statin treatment or significant differences among individual statins.


Journal ArticleEngland


Last updated on 12/04/2012