Changes in Statin Therapy

MEPS Statistical Brief No. 459

Statins or 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme reductase inhibitors are a class of drugs used in the management of high cholesterol (i.e., dyslipidemia or disorder of lipoprotein metabolism), a major risk factor for heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States.

Changes in Statin Therapy among Adults, a statistical brief from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, examines changes in statin use among adults (age ≥18) in the United States using nationally representative data from 2000 to 2011. In particular, this brief examines changes in statin use among subgroups of the U.S. civilian noninstitutionalized adult population defined by age, sex, race/ethnicity, health insurance status, perceived health status, comorbidities (priority conditions), and census region.

Highlights:

  • Between 2000–2001 and 2010–2011, the average annual percentage of adults who reported using statins more than doubled for adults ages 18–40 (0.8 to 1.7 percent) and nearly doubled for adults ages 41–64 (10.5 to 20.3 percent) and adults age 65 and older (23.5 to 45.8 percent).
  • Between 2000–2001 and 2010–2011, the average annual percentage of adults who reported using statins increased for non-Hispanic whites (9.6 to 20.2 percent), non-Hispanic blacks (5.3 to 13.3 percent), Hispanics (4.1 to 9.1 percent), and non-Hispanic others (6.9 to 13.9 percent).
  • Between 2000–2001 and 2010–2011, the average annual percentage of adults (age ≥18) reporting statin use increased more than 40 percent among adults with high blood pressure (24.0 to 36.9 percent), heart disease (32.1 to 45.6 percent), stroke (32.3 to 47.8 percent), and diabetes (30.9 to 54.9 percent).
  • Between 2000–2001 and 2010–2011, the average annual percentage of adults who reported using statins increased in the Northeast (9.7 to 18.3 percent), Midwest (9.3 to 18.7 percent), South (8.5 to 17.7 percent), and West (6.3 to 14.8 percent).

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Page last reviewed November 2014
Internet Citation: Changes in Statin Therapy : MEPS Statistical Brief No. 459. November 2014. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/meps1.html