Almost Half of People Eligible for Statins Do Not Take Them

Issue 625
AHRQ News Now is a weekly newsletter that highlights agency research and program activities.
July 31, 2018

AHRQ Stats: Fewer Part-Time Workers With Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance

From 2005 to 2015, the percentage of part-time workers covered by employer-sponsored health insurance decreased from about 64 percent to 54 percent. During this same period, the percentage of part-time workers covered by public health insurance, such as Medicaid, increased from about 10 percent to 22 percent.(Source: AHRQ, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Statistical Brief #511: Differences in Health Insurance Coverage between Part-Time and Full-Time Private-Sector Workers, 2005 and 2015.)

Editor's note: AHRQ News Now will not publish next week.

Today's Headlines:

Almost Half of People Eligible for Statins Do Not Take Them

Only 42 percent of the 26.8 million adults for whom statins are recommended to prevent heart disease take them, according to a new study from AHRQ staff researchers. Rates of statin use have remained flat in the last decade, despite evidence that statins reduce death from heart disease, the leading cause of death among adults age 40 and older. In 2016, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released new recommendations on statin use to prevent heart disease. Researchers used data from the Agency’s Medical Expenditure Panel Survey to assess the size and characteristics of the population that meet the USPSTF criteria for statin use. They also calculated the number of statin prescriptions filled, as well as out-of-pocket and total costs. Among adults recommended for statin use, women, Hispanics, and people living in the South or without health insurance were less likely to take the drugs. The USPSTF recommendations may result in decreased out-of-pocket costs and expanded access to statins, according to researchers. However, future research is needed to determine if eliminating copayments increases adherence and lowers rates of heart attacks and strokes. Access the abstract.

Registration Open for Diagnostic Error in Medicine 11th Annual International Conference

Register now for the Diagnostic Error in Medicine 11th Annual International Conference on Nov. 4–6 in New Orleans. The theme of this year’s conference, funded in part by AHRQ, is “Innovating to Improve Diagnosis.” It will showcase innovations to reduce errors and improve the diagnostic process by focusing on the 2015 National Academy of Medicine's report, "Improving Diagnosis in Health Care,” which recommends developing and deploying approaches to identify, learn from and reduce diagnostic errors and near misses in clinical practice. Early registration rates are available through Sept. 14 and three registration options are offered: full conference, one day, and pre-conference short courses. CME/CNE credits are available for medical professionals. Access more information.

Sign Up Today: New Email Bulletin Delivers AHRQ Views Blog Posts

A newly developed email bulletin allows subscribers to be alerted automatically when the agency distributes a new AHRQ Views blog post. The AHRQ Views blog features updates from agency leadership about AHRQ’s ongoing efforts to improve the quality and safety of health care. To sign up, select the link, enter your email address, and select AHRQ Views Blog under AHRQ News and Information.  

Highlights From AHRQ’s Patient Safety Network

AHRQ’s Patient Safety Network (PSNET) highlights journal articles, books and tools related to patient safety. Articles featured this week include:

Review additional new publications in PSNet’s currrent issue or access recent cases and commentaries in AHRQ’s WebM&M (Morbidity and Mortality Rounds on the Web).

Register Now: Sept. 13 Workshop Will Instruct Users of AHRQ’s Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project

A Sept. 13 in-person workshop at AHRQ will help health services researchers and analysts learn more about using the agency’s Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) databases and products. Examples of HCUP resources will be demonstrated through data analyses on opioid, alcohol and substance use topics. Participants should bring their own computers. It is recommended that participants have prior experience with HCUP or large administrative databases. Registration for the free workshop in Rockville, Md., closes Sept. 6. Attendees not familiar with HCUP databases should attend the HCUP Overview Webinar presentations on Sept. 5 and Sept. 12, and/or review the Online HCUP Overview Course.  Email questions to

Featured Case Study: Nebraska Hospital Reduced Patient Falls by 21 Percent Using AHRQ Program

Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital, a 48-bed hospital in Lincoln, Neb., reduced patient falls by 21 percent after implementing AHRQ’s Preventing Falls in Hospitals Training Program in 2015. The reduction in patient falls resulted in an estimated $107,000 savings in medical costs. Access the impact case study.

AHRQ in the Professional Literature

Favorable cardiovascular health, compression of morbidity, and healthcare costs: forty-year follow-up of the CHA Study (Chicago Heart Association Detection Project in Industry). Allen NB, Zhao L, Liu L, et al. Circulation 2017 May 2;135(18):1693-701. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Creating conditions for patients' values to emerge in clinical conversations: perspectives of health care team members. Berry ABL, Lim C, Hartzler AL, et al. DIS (Des Interact Syst Conf) 2017 Jun;2017:1165-74. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Estimating the risks of breast cancer radiotherapy: evidence from modern radiation doses to the lungs and heart and from previous randomized trials. Taylor C, Correa C, Duane FK, et al. J Clin Oncol 2017 May 20;35(15):1641-49. Epub 2017 Mar 20. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

A new era of quality measurement in rheumatology: electronic clinical quality measures and national registries. Tonner C, Schmajuk G, Yazdany J. Curr Opin Rheumatol 2017 Mar;29(2):131-37. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Effect of digoxin use among Medicaid enrollees with atrial fibrillation.  Adedinsewo D, Xu J, Agasthi P, et al. Circ Arrhythm Electrophysiol 2017 May;10(5):e004573. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Surgically managed clinical stage 111a-clinical n2 lung cancer in the Society of Thoracic Surgeons Database. Boffa D, Fernandez FG, Kim S, et al. Ann Thorac Surg 2017 Aug;104(2):395-403. Epub 2017 May 17. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Biologics or tofacitinib for people with rheumatoid arthritis unsuccessfully treated with biologics: a systematic review and network meta-analysis. Singh JA, Hossain A, Tanjong Ghogomu E, et al. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2017 Mar 10;3:CD012591. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Current perspectives on systemic hypertension in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. Tam MC, Lee R, Cascino TM, et al. Curr Hypertens Rep 2017 Feb;19(2):12. Access the abstract on PubMed®.

Contact Information

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Page last reviewed July 2018
Page originally created July 2018
Internet Citation: Almost Half of People Eligible for Statins Do Not Take Them. Content last reviewed July 2018. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.
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