Association of Region and Hospital and Patient Characteristics with Use of High-Intensity Statins after Myocardial Infarction among Medicare Beneficiaries

Academic Article


  • Importance: High-intensity statin use after myocardial infarction (MI) varies by patient characteristics, but little is known about differences in use by hospital or region. Objective: To explore the relative strength of associations of region and hospital and patient characteristics with high-intensity statin use after MI. Design, Setting, and Participants: This retrospective cohort analysis used Medicare administrative claims and enrollment data to evaluate fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries 66 years or older who were hospitalized for MI from January 1, 2011, through June 30, 2015, with a statin prescription claim within 30 days of discharge. Data were analyzed from January 4, 2017, through May 12, 2019. Exposures: Beneficiary characteristics were abstracted from Medicare data. Hospital characteristics were obtained from the 2014 American Hospital Association Survey and Hospital Compare quality metrics. Nine regions were defined according to the US Census. Main Outcomes and Measures: Intensity of the first statin claim after discharge characterized as high (atorvastatin calcium, 40-80 mg, or rosuvastatin calcium, 20-40 mg/d) vs low to moderate (all other statin types and doses). Trends in high-intensity statins were examined from 2011 through 2015. Associations of region and beneficiary and hospital characteristics with high-intensity statin use from January 1, 2014, to June 15, 2015, were examined using Poisson distribution mixed models. Results: Among the 139 643 fee-for-service beneficiaries included (69 968 men [50.1%] and 69 675 women [49.9%]; mean [SD] age, 76.7 [7.5] years), high-intensity statin use overall increased from 23.4% in 2011 to 55.6% in 2015, but treatment gaps persisted across regions. In models considering region and beneficiary and hospital characteristics, region was the strongest correlate of high-intensity statin use, with 66% higher use in New England than in the West South Central region (risk ratio [RR], 1.66; 95% CI, 1.47-1.87). Hospital size of at least 500 beds (RR, 1.15; 95% CI, 1.07-1.23), medical school affiliation (RR, 1.11; 95% CI, 1.05-1.17), male sex (RR, 1.10; 95% CI, 1.07-1.13), and patient receipt of a stent (RR, 1.35; 95% CI, 1.31-1.39) were associated with greater high-intensity statin use. For-profit hospital ownership, patient age older than 75 years, prior coronary disease, and other comorbidities were associated with lower use. Conclusions and Relevance: This study's findings suggest that geographic region is the strongest correlate of high-intensity statin use after MI, leading to large treatment disparities.
  • Published In

  • JAMA Cardiology  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Bittner V; Colantonio LD; Dai Y; Woodward M; Mefford MT; Rosenson RS; Muntner P; Monda KL; Kilgore ML; Jaeger BC
  • Start Page

  • 865
  • End Page

  • 872
  • Volume

  • 4
  • Issue

  • 9