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Survival Benefits of Statins for Primary Prevention: A Cohort Study

Gitsels, LA; Kulinskaya, E; Steel, N; (2016) Survival Benefits of Statins for Primary Prevention: A Cohort Study. PLOS ONE , 11 (11) , Article e0166847. 10.1371/journal.pone.0166847. Green open access

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Abstract

Objectives Estimate the effect of statin prescription on mortality in the population of England and Wales with no previous history of cardiovascular disease. Methods Primary care records from The Health Improvement Network 1987–2011 were used. Four cohorts of participants aged 60, 65, 70, or 75 years at baseline included 118,700, 199,574, 247,149, and 194,085 participants; and 1.4, 1.9, 1.8, and 1.1 million person-years of data, respectively. The exposure was any statin prescription at any time before the participant reached the baseline age (60, 65, 70 or 75) and the outcome was all-cause mortality at any age above the baseline age. The hazard of mortality associated with statin prescription was calculated by Cox’s proportional hazard regressions, adjusted for sex, year of birth, socioeconomic status, diabetes, antihypertensive medication, hypercholesterolaemia, body mass index, smoking status, and general practice. Participants were grouped by QRISK2 baseline risk of a first cardiovascular event in the next ten years of <10%, 10–19%, or ≥20%. Results There was no reduction in all-cause mortality for statin prescription initiated in participants with a QRISK2 score <10% at any baseline age, or in participants aged 60 at baseline in any risk group. Mortality was lower in participants with a QRISK2 score ≥20% if statin prescription had been initiated by age 65 (adjusted hazard ratio (HR) 0.86 (0.79–0.94)), 70 (HR 0.83 (0.79–0.88)), or 75 (HR 0.82 (0.79–0.86)). Mortality reduction was uncertain with a QRISK2 score of 10–19%: the HR was 1.00 (0.91–1.11) for statin prescription by age 65, 0.89 (0.81–0.99) by age 70, or 0.79 (0.52–1.19) by age 75. Conclusions The current internationally recommended thresholds for statin therapy for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease in routine practice may be too low and may lead to overtreatment of younger people and those at low risk.

Type: Article
Title: Survival Benefits of Statins for Primary Prevention: A Cohort Study
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0166847
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0166847
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Science & Technology, Multidisciplinary Sciences, Science & Technology - Other Topics, CARDIOVASCULAR-DISEASE, LOW-RISK, MEN, VALIDATION, WOMEN, METAANALYSIS, CHOLESTEROL, PRAVASTATIN, DATABASE, EVENTS
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Population, Policy and Practice Dept
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10076783
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