0824 GMT October 23, 2019
About one-third of people in taking statins to control low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, known as ‘bad cholesterol’, still have dangerously high levels in their blood, according to new research published in the May issue of the Journal of the Managed Care and Specialty Pharmacy. These results show statin users are at risk for heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular episodes, UPI wrote.
"Statins are first-line therapy in patients with hyperlipidemia because they clearly prevent cardiovascular events," Robert Boggs, a researcher at Merck who authored the study, said in a news release.
The study of data from the Indiana Network for Patient Care showed that 33.7 percent of people taking statins didn't reach therapeutic levels of LDL-C between six and 18 months of usage.
The researchers figured that reaching the therapeutic level for bad cholesterol, which is below 100 milligrams per deciliter, could save $1,455 per person in medical costs.
Another study, published last month in the Journal Heart, found that after two years of treatment with statins, about half of patients in primary care still didn't hit healthy cholesterol levels.
According to CDC Foundation, medical costs to treat stroke and heart disease patients total about $1 billion each day. The researchers hope the study stresses to doctors and insurance companies the importance of staying vigilant with patients about taking statins regularly.
"This study demonstrates not only the value of helping patients adhere to their statin therapy but, in some cases, the need for additional treatments to get their LDL cholesterol down to reasonable thresholds," Boggs said.