Background: American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association guidelines published in 2013 recommend high-intensity statins (atorvastatin 40 or 80 mg or rosuvastatin 20 or 40 mg) for most adults ≤75 years of age with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). For adults >75 years of age with ASCVD, the guidelines recommend continuation of tolerated statins or initiation of moderate intensity statins for most patients.
Objective: To examine whether guideline concordant use of high-intensity statins following myocardial infarction (MI) among Medicare beneficiaries differed by hospital size, medical school affiliation, and region of the US in 2014 (after publication of the guidelines).
Methods: We identified 28,086 Medicare beneficiaries with fee-for-service and pharmacy coverage who filled a statin within 30 days following hospital discharge for MI in 2014. The analyses were restricted to 731 hospitals with at least 20 beneficiaries discharged for MI in 2014. Hospital size and medical school affiliation were determined from the American Hospital Association survey. In subgroups ≤75 and >75 years of age, we calculated the proportion of beneficiaries whose first statin fill after MI was a high-intensity statin by hospital, hospital size, medical school affiliation, and region.
Results: Among statin users ≤75 years of age, 10,696 (55%) beneficiaries filled a prescription for a high-intensity statin following MI. The percentage filling high-intensity statins range from 0-100% (25th percentile 39%, 75th percentile 69%) across hospitals. High-intensity statin use was more common following hospitalization at larger hospitals, hospitals with medical school affiliations, and those in New England (Figure). A lower percentage of Medicare beneficiaries >75 years of age filled high-intensity statins (n = 8,441, 44%), but patterns were similar across hospital characteristics and region.
Conclusions: Similar patterns of high-intensity statin use were present among individuals ≤75 years of age, in whom high-intensity statin use is guideline concordant, and individuals >75 years of age, in whom high-intensity statin use is not necessarily guideline concordant, suggesting that variation in high-intensity statin prescriptions may not be directly related to close adherence to guidelines.