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Less Than Half of Stroke Discharges Prescribed a Statin

Prescribing differences by age, sex seen in 'Stroke Belt' in the southern U.S. versus rest of nation


WEDNESDAY, Aug. 2, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Less than half of ischemic stroke patients discharged from the hospital receive a prescription for statins, according to a study published online Aug. 2 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Using medical records from 2003 to 2013, Karen C. Albright, Ph.D., D.O., from the Birmingham VA Medical Center in Alabama, and colleagues analyzed discharge medications for participants hospitalized for an ischemic stroke as part of follow-up during the REGARDS (Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke) study.

The researchers restricted analyses to 323 of the 666 patients with incident stroke who were not statin users at the time of admission and had no history of atrial fibrillation. Just 48.7 percent were prescribed a statin on discharge. Participants aged 65 years and older living in the Stroke Belt were 47 percent less likely to be discharged on a statin compared with those younger than 65 years (relative risk [RR], 0.53; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.38 to 0.74). This association was not seen in non-Stroke Belt residents. Blacks were more likely than whites to be discharged on a statin outside the Stroke Belt (RR, 1.42; 95 percent CI, 1.04 to 1.94), but no racial association was present among Stroke Belt residents (RR, 0.93; 95 percent CI, 0.69 to 1.26; P for interaction = 0.228). Men in the Stroke Belt were 31 percent less likely to be discharged on a statin than women (RR, 0.69; 95 percent CI, 0.50 to 0.94). However, men outside the Stroke Belt were more likely to be discharged on a statin (RR, 1.38; 95 percent CI, 0.99 to 1.92; P for interaction = 0.004).

"Statin discharge prescribing may differ among Stroke Belt and non-Stroke Belt residents, particularly in older Americans and men," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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