We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
Editorial |

Elderly Patients' Adherence to Statin Therapy

William B. Applegate, MD, MPH
JAMA. 2002;288(4):495-497. doi:10.1001/jama.288.4.495.
Text Size: A A A
Published online


In this issue of THE JOURNAL, 2 articles present important new data that indicate persistence of use of statin therapy declines remarkably over time in 2 different elderly cohorts.1,2 Benner and colleagues1 used data from both New Jersey Medicaid and Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled programs (1990-1999) to determine adherence with prescribed medication over a given time interval. They also evaluated persistence, defined as the duration of time over which a patient continued to fill the statin prescriptions. Filled prescription intervals were used to calculate the proportion of days covered by a statin in each quarter of a year after initiation of therapy. In the study by Jackevicius and colleagues,2 several large databases from Ontario, Canada (1994-1998), were merged, including one of drug benefits, another of hospital discharge summaries, and another of health insurance benefits. In this latter study, adherence was calculated simply as having a statin prescription refilled within 120 days of the index prescription. Despite different methods of defining adherence, the findings of the 2 studies are remarkably consistent and alarming given the efficiency of statins in reducing cardiovascular morbidity. In both studies, adherence to statin therapy declined more than 25% in the first 6 months after the original prescription, with further declines in adherence the longer the cohort was followed.

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

First Page Preview

View Large
First page PDF preview




Also Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
Please click the checkbox indicating that you have read the full article in order to submit your answers.
Your answers have been saved for later.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

13 Citations

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

See Also...
Articles Related By Topic
Related Collections
PubMed Articles

Users' Guides to the Medical Literature: A Manual for Evidence-Based Clinical Practice, 3rd ed
The Biological Agent

Users' Guides to the Medical Literature: A Manual for Evidence-Based Clinical Practice, 3rd ed
Is There Potentially Compelling Evidence for a Class Effect?