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Relation Between Cardiology Follow-Up Visits, Evidence-Based Statin Prescribing, and Statin Adherence (from the Veterans Affairs Health Care System).

Rehman H, Ahmed ST, Akeroyd J, Mahtta D, Jia X, Rifai MA, Nasir K, Jneid H, Khalid MU, Alam M, Toth PP, Virani SS. Relation Between Cardiology Follow-Up Visits, Evidence-Based Statin Prescribing, and Statin Adherence (from the Veterans Affairs Health Care System). The American journal of cardiology. 2019 Oct 15; 124(8):1165-1170.

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Statin use remains suboptimal in patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). We assessed whether outpatient care with a cardiology provider is associated with evidence-based statin prescription and statin adherence. We identified patients with ASCVD aged = 18 years receiving primary care in 130 facilities and associated community-based outpatient clinics in the entire Veterans Affairs Health Care System between October 1, 2013 and September 30, 2014. Patients were divided into: (1) patients with at least 1 outpatient cardiology visit and (2) patients with no outpatient cardiology visits in the year before the index primary care visit. We assessed any- and high-intensity statin prescription adjusting for several patient- and facility-level covariates, and statin adherence using proportion of days covered (PDC). We included 1,249,061 patients with ASCVD (mean age: 71.9 years; 98.0% male). After adjusting for covariates, patients who visited a cardiology provider had greater odds of being on a statin (87.4% vs 78.4%; Odds ratio [OR] 1.25, 95% Confidence interval [CI] 1.24 to 1.26), high-intensity statin (34.5% vs 21.2%; OR: 1.21, 95% CI 1.21 to 1.22), and higher statin adherence (mean PDC 0.76 ± 0.29 vs 0.70 ± 0.34, PDC = 0.8: 62.0% vs 57.3%; OR 1.09, 95% CI 1.09 to 1.11). A dose response relation was seen with a higher number of cardiology visits associated with a higher statin use and statin adherence. In conclusion, compared with outpatient care delivered by primary care providers alone, care delivered by a cardiology provider for patients with ASCVD is associated with a higher likelihood of guideline-based statin use and statin adherence.

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