Statins common among senior nursing home residents with life-limiting illnesses
Statin use is relatively common among long-stay residents of nursing homes despite life-limiting illnesses, a recent study has found.
Researchers conducted a cross-sectional analysis of 424,212 long-time residents of nursing homes, in whom statin use patterns were retrieved from Medicare administrative claims. For the present study, life-limiting illnesses were those that resulted in a life expectancy <6 months and necessitated palliative care, among other diagnostic code criteria.
Overall, 34.0 percent of the participants were on statin medication. This rate was higher among those aged 65–75 vs >75 years (44.0 percent vs 31.1 percent). High-intensity statins, defined as a daily reduction in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol of more than half, ranged from 5.4 percent to 11.1 percent and was rarer among older participants.
In terms of statin types, atorvastatin emerged as the most commonly prescribed, taken by 16 percent to 25 percent of participants. This was followed by simvastatin (9 percent to 11 percent) and pravastatin (5 percent to 6 percent).
In the 67-to-75-year age group, significant predictors of statin use included the concurrent use of ≥5 nonstatin medications and being diagnosed and having risk factors for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Severe cognitive and functional impairments, along with liver disease, cirrhosis and limited prognoses, appeared to cut the likelihood of being on statins.
The same factors were found to exert similar effects on participants in the older subgroup.