Preventive cardiology| Volume 111, ISSUE 10, P1437-1442, May 15, 2013

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A Pilot Study Identifying Statin Nonadherence With Visit-to-Visit Variability of Low-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol

Published:February 22, 2013DOI:
      Nonadherence to cardiovascular medications such as statins is a common, important problem. Clinicians currently rely on intuition to identify medication nonadherence. The visit-to-visit variability (VVV) of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol might represent an opportunity to identify statin nonadherence with greater accuracy. We examined the clinical and pharmacy data from 782 members of the Boston Medical Center Health Plan, seen at either the Boston Medical Center or its affiliated community health centers, who were taking statins and had ≥3 LDL cholesterol measurements from 2008 to 2011. The LDL cholesterol VVV (defined by the within-patient SD) was categorized into quintiles. Multivariate logistic regression models were generated with statin nonadherence (defined by the standard 80% pharmacy refill-based medication possession ratio threshold) as the dependent variable. The proportion of statin nonadherence increased across the quintiles of LDL cholesterol VVV (64.3%, 71.2%, 89.2%, 92.3%, 91.7%). Higher quintiles of LDL cholesterol VVV had a strong positive association with statin nonadherence, with an adjusted odds ratio of 3.4 (95% confidence interval 1.7 to 7.1) in the highest versus lowest quintile of LDL cholesterol VVV. The age- and gender-adjusted model had poor discrimination (C-statistic 0.62, 95% confidence interval 0.57 to 0.67), but the final adjusted model (age, gender, race, mean LDL cholesterol) demonstrated good discrimination (C-statistic 0.75, 95% confidence interval 0.71 to 0.79) between the adherent and nonadherent patients. In conclusion, the VVV of LDL cholesterol demonstrated a strong association with statin nonadherence in a clinic setting. Furthermore, a VVV of LDL cholesterol-based model had good discrimination characteristics for statin nonadherence. Research is needed to validate and generalize these findings to other populations and biomarkers.
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