Racial differences in statin adherence following hospital discharge for ischemic stroke

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To compare nonadherence to statins in older black and white adults following an ischemic stroke.


We studied black and white adults ≥66 years of age with Medicare fee-for-service insurance coverage hospitalized for ischemic stroke from 2007 to 2012 who filled a statin prescription within 30 days following discharge. Nonadherence was defined as a proportion of days covered <80% in the 365 days following hospital discharge. In addition, we evaluated factors associated with nonadherence for white and black participants separately.


Overall 2,763 beneficiaries met the inclusion criteria (13.5% black). Black adults were more likely than white adults to be nonadherent (49.7% vs 41.5%) even after adjustment for demographics, receipt of a low-income subsidy, and baseline comorbidities (adjusted relative risk [RR] 1.14, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.01–1.29). Among white adults, receipt of a low-income subsidy (adjusted RR 1.13, 95% CI 1.02–1.26), history of coronary heart disease (adjusted RR 1.15, 95% CI 1.01–1.30), and discharge directly home following stroke hospitalization (adjusted RR 1.26, 95% CI 1.10–1.44) were associated with a higher risk of nonadherence. Among black adults, a 1-unit increase in the Charlson comorbidity index (adjusted RR 1.04, 95% CI 1.01–1.09), history of carotid artery disease (adjusted RR 2.38, 95% CI 1.08–5.25), and hospitalization during the 365 days prior to the index stroke (adjusted RR 1.34, 95% CI 1.01–1.78) were associated with nonadherence.


Compared with white adults, black adults were more likely to be nonadherent to statins following hospitalization for ischemic stroke.

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