Trends in the Use of Nonstatin Lipid-Lowering Therapy Among Patients With Coronary Heart Disease: A Retrospective Cohort Study in the Medicare Population 2007 to 2011.

Academic Article


  • BACKGROUND: Nonstatin lipid-lowering therapy is adjunctive therapy for high-risk individuals on statins or monotherapy among those who cannot tolerate statins. OBJECTIVES: This study determined time trends between 2007 and 2011 for statin and nonstatin lipid-lowering therapy (niacin, fibrates, bile acid sequestrants, and ezetimibe) use among Medicare beneficiaries with coronary heart disease (CHD) in light of emerging clinical trial evidence. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective cohort study using the national 5% random sample of Medicare beneficiaries (n = 310,091). We created 20 cohorts of individuals with CHD, representing calendar quarters from 2007 through 2011, to assess trends in use of statins and nonstatin lipid-lowering medications. RESULTS: Statin use increased from 53.1% to 58.8% between 2007 and 2011. Ezetimibe use peaked at 12.1% and declined to 4.6% by the end of 2011, declining among both patients on statins (18.4% to 6.2%) and not on statins (5.0% to 2.4%). Fibrate use increased from 4.2% to 5.0%, bile acid sequestrants did not change significantly, and niacin use increased from 1.5% to 2.4% and then declined in late 2011. Use of nonstatin lipid-lowering therapy was less common at older age, among African Americans, patients with heart failure, and patients with a higher Charlson comorbidity score. Nonstatin lipid-lowering therapy use was more common among men and patients with diabetes, those who had cardiologist visits, and among those taking statins. CONCLUSIONS: Declining ezetimibe and niacin use but not fibrate therapy among Medicare beneficiaries with CHD coincides with negative clinical trial results for these agents.
  • Keywords

  • coronary heart disease, nonstatin lipid-lowering therapy, statin, Adult, Anticholesteremic Agents, Coronary Disease, Drug Utilization, Ezetimibe, Humans, Hyperlipidemias, Hypolipidemic Agents, Medicare, Niacin, Practice Patterns, Physicians', Retrospective Studies, Risk Factors, United States
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Bittner V; Deng L; Rosenson RS; Taylor B; Glasser SP; Kent ST; Farkouh ME; Muntner P
  • Start Page

  • 1864
  • End Page

  • 1872
  • Volume

  • 66
  • Issue

  • 17