Race/ethnic and sex differences in the initiation of non-statin lipid-lowering medication following myocardial infarction

Academic Article


  • Background: Adults with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) at very high-risk for recurrent events who have low-density lipoprotein cholesterol ≥ 70 mg/dL despite maximally-tolerated statin therapy are recommended to initiate ezetimibe or a proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) inhibitor. Objective: Compare the initiation of ezetimibe and a PCSK9 inhibitor after a myocardial infarction (MI) among very high-risk ASCVD patients by race/ethnicity and sex. Methods: We analyzed data from 374,786 adults ≥ 66 years of age with Medicare fee-for-service coverage who had an MI between July 1, 2015 and December 31, 2018, were not taking ezetimibe or a PCSK9 inhibitor, and had very high-risk ASCVD defined by the 2018 American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology multi-society cholesterol guideline. Pharmacy claims through December 31, 2018 were used to determine ezetimibe and PCSK9 inhibitor initiation. Results: Overall, 6980 (1.9%) beneficiaries initiated ezetimibe, and 1433 (0.4%) initiated a PCSK9 inhibitor. Adjusted hazard ratios (aHR) for ezetimibe initiation among non-Hispanic Black, Hispanic, and Asian versus non-Hispanic White beneficiaries were 0.77 (95% confidence interval [95%CI]: 0.70–0.86), 0.92 (95%CI: 0.76–1.11) and 0.73 (95%CI: 0.59–0.89), respectively. Compared to non-Hispanic White beneficiaries, the aHRs for PCSK9 inhibitor initiation were 0.63 (95%CI: 0.48–0.81) among non-Hispanic Black, 0.70 (95%CI: 0.43–1.13) among Hispanic, and 0.93 (95%CI: 0.62–1.39) among Asian beneficiaries. The aHRs for ezetimibe and PCSK9 inhibitor initiation comparing women to men were 1.11 (95%CI: 1.06–1.17) and 1.13 (95%CI: 1.01–1.25), respectively. Conclusion: There are race/ethnic and sex disparities in the initiation of ezetimibe and a PCSK9 inhibitor following MI among very high-risk ASCVD patients.
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    Author List

  • Colvin CL; Poudel B; Bress AP; Derington CG; King JB; Wen Y; Chen L; Bittner V; Brown TM; Monda KL
  • Start Page

  • 665
  • End Page

  • 673
  • Volume

  • 15
  • Issue

  • 5