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New Guidelines May Reduce Statin Usage

New Guidelines May Reduce Statin Usage

United States: According to a study by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre, and University of Michigan, roughly 40% fewer people could meet criteria for cholesterol-lowering statins to prevent heart disease if national guidelines are revised to incorporate a new risk equation.

The PREVENT Equation’s Impact

In a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, the American Heart Association released the PREVENT equations in the cold month of November with the goal of updating doctors’ go-to calculators for determining patients’ 10-year risk of heart attack or can say heart damage or stroke. The study looks at the possible effects of this widespread adoption.

The number of young adults who should take statins could drop from 45.4 million to 28.3 million at the population level and this is really very shocking  However, the study also revealed that the majority of individuals for whom statins would be advised do not presently take them.

“This presents a chance to realign our focus and allocate resources to the patient populations most at risk,” main author Dr. Timothy Anderson, M.D., M.A.S., an assistant professor of medicine at Pitt and a primary care physician at UPMC, said of the study’s findings.

Implications for Current Statin Users

The researchers used almost 3,785 adults, aged  between 40 to 75, who took part in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between January 2017 and March 2020 to get nationally representative data for their analysis and results. Calculative risk of cardiovascular disease EVENTs (PREVENT) equations were used by the researchers to assess the 10-year risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). The results were compared to the risk estimated using Pooled Cohort Equations (PCE), the previous technique.

Since the PCE equations were based on patient data that was lacking in variety and decades old, the American Heart Association developed the PREVENT equations to more properly depict risk across the current U.S. population.

Enhanced Risk Representation

Additionally, PREVENT takes into account newer discoveries on the biology of ASCVD. The updated estimate takes into account the use of statins now in use as well as metabolic and renal illnesses. It does not include race, reflecting the emerging realisation that race is a social construct.

Study Methodology and Findings

The researchers discovered that the 10-year risk of getting ASCVD for the overall study population was 4% using PREVENT, which is half as high as the risk estimated by the PCE (8%). For Black adults (5.1% versus 10.9%) and individuals between the ages of 70 and 75 (10.2% versus 22.8%), the disparity was even more pronounced.

Implications for Current Statin Users

Based on PREVENT, it would no longer be advised for the estimated 4.1 million individuals who are now taking statins to continue doing so. According to Anderson, diligent and transparent communication is essential between these patients’ doctors. “We want no one to believe that they have received unfair treatment in the past. When the PCE was first launched in 2013, they were treated using the best available data. The information has evolved.

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