Less Likely To Take Your Statin After Surgery

A recent study looked at people who were hospitalized for heart disease. It then tracked people’s use of statin medications (e.g., Lipitor) for the next year and looked at their adherence based on whether they had surgery or were simply discharged with a prescription.

SURPRISE – 70% of people who had surgery stayed on their statins for a year while 79% of those who didn’t have surgery stayed adherent. (thanks to Box Cutters for sharing this)

This begs a whole lot of questions:

  • How did they get the people to be so adherent in the first place? (this seems higher than the national statistics)
  • Did the surgery patients feel like they were “cured”? (see post on similar issue)
  • Was the statistical difference true at a location or prescriber level also? (i.e., was it simply that some locations or prescribers always wrote a script and talked about adherence or was it really a patient difference?)
  • Were the patients who had surgery sicker to begin with and therefore on more medications (which would reduce their likelihood of being adherent)?

On the other hand, this is perhaps another warning flag on the whole hospital readmissions issue where we have to address issues of health literacy, follow-up, discharge process, support network, and medication reconciliation.

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