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.
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    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