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Statin use in adults at high risk of cardiovascular disease mortality: cross-sectional analysis of baseline data from TILDA

Dr. Catriona Murphy (HRB ICE Research Fellow) of TILDA and published in BMJopen examines the extent to which statins are used by adults at high risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) compared to European clinical guidelines. The high risk groups examined were those with (1) known CVD (2) known diabetes and (3) a high or very high risk of CVD mortality based on Systematic Coronary Risk Evaluation (SCORE).

This is a cross-sectional study based on the first wave of TILDA. The sample is representative of community living adults aged 50-64 years in Ireland.

Key findings include:

  • 68.8% of those with known CVD, 57.4% of those with known diabetes and 19.7% of adults with a high or very high SCORE risk were taking statins
  • Targets for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) specified in European guidelines were not reached by over a third of those with known CVD, 46.8% of those with known diabetes and 85.2% of those with a high or very high SCORE risk

Commenting on the study, lead author, Dr Catriona Murphy said “Despite strong evidence and clinical guidelines recommending the use of statins in individuals with existing cardiovascular disease, a gap exists between guidelines and practice in community living adults in Ireland. The policy implications of these findings are that secondary prevention needs to be strengthened at primary care level to reduce the risk of future CVD events in this population. For the remainder of the population without evidence of CVD, population strategies for primary prevention are required as well as opportunistic risk assessment to identify those at high risk of future CVD in order to establish best practice in primary prevention”.

Co-Authors include Dr. K. Bennett TCD, Prof T. Fahey RCSI, Prof E. Shelley HSE, Prof I Graham Tallaght Hospital and Prof RA. Kenny TCD

This study was funded by a HRB Interdisciplinary Capacity Enhancement Award (grant number : ICE/2012/7)

The full paper is available here.