Background: The 2013 ACC/AHA cholesterol guideline recommends high-intensity statin therapy in patients 75 years or younger and moderate-intensity statin therapy in patients > 75 years with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease including those with peripheral artery disease (PAD). Statin prescribing patterns and their facility-level variation in patients with PAD are unknown.
Methods: We examined the frequency and facility-level variation in the use of any and correct intensity of statins in patients with known PAD receiving primary care in 130 facilities across the Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system with or without concomitant ischemic heart disease (IHD) or ischemic cerebrovascular disease (ICVD). We calculated the median rate ratios (MRR) adjusted for patient demographic factors to assess the magnitude of facility-level variation in statin prescribing patterns for comparable patients.
Results: Among 194,151 patients with PAD, 88,905 (45.8%) had PAD without IHD (with or without ICVD) and 70,404 (36.3%) had PAD without IHD or ICVD. Rates of statin use in the entire PAD cohort, patients with PAD without IHD and PAD alone were 79.0%, 69.1% and 66.3%, respectively. Median facility-level rates of statin use were 78.9% (IQR 75.9-81.5), 69.2% (65.4-72.6) and 66.4% (62.6-70.1), respectively. Correct intensity statins were prescribed among 40.9% for the entire PAD cohort, 28.9% of those with PAD without IHD, and 26.4% of those with PAD alone. Median facility-level rate of correct statin intensity use in all PAD patients was 40.1% (36.4-44.2), 27.8% (24.1-32.4) for patients with PAD without IHD and 25.3% (10.8-29.7) in patients with PAD alone. Calculated MRRs reflected a 20-22% variation among two facilities in treating identical PAD patients with statin therapy and a 24-28% variation in treating identical patients with correct statin intensity (Table).
Conclusions: The use of statin and especially correct statin intensity is suboptimal in PAD patients, especially in PAD patients without concomitant IHD or ICVD. There is a significant facility-level variation in the receipt of guideline directed statin therapy in PAD patients. Interventions are needed to improve guideline directed moderate to high-intensity statin use and to reduce variation in care in this high-risk group.