Inception and deprescribing of statins in people aged over 80 years: cohort study

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Objective: Statin use over the age of 80 years is weakly evidence-based. This study aimed to estimate rates of statin inception and deprescribing by frailty level in people aged 80 years or older. Methods: A cohort of 212,566 participants aged ≥80 years was sampled from the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink. Statin inception was defined as a first-ever prescription in a non-statin user; deprescribing was defined as a last ever statin prescription more than 6 months before the end of participant records. Rates were estimated in a time-to-event framework allowing for mortality as a competing risk. Covariates were age, gender, frailty category and prevention type. Results: Prevalent statin use increased from 2001-5 (9.9%) to 2011-15 (49.3%). Inception of statins in never-users was low overall at 2.4% per year (95% confidence interval (CI) 2.2% to 2.6%) and declined with age. Deprescribing of statins in current users occurred at a rate of 5.6% (95% CI 5.4% to 5.9%) per year overall and increased with age, reaching 17.8% per year (95% CI 6.7% to 28.9%) among centenarians. Deprescribing was slightly higher for primary prevention (6.5% per year) than secondary prevention (5.2% per year) indications (P<0.001). Deprescribing increased with frailty level being 5.0% per year in ‘fit’ participants and 7.1% in ‘severe’ frailty (P<0.001). Conclusions: Statin use has increased in the over-80s but deprescribing is common and increases with age and frailty level. These paradoxical findings highlight a need for better evidence to inform statin use and discontinuation for people aged ≥80 years.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1001-1005
JournalAge and Ageing
Issue number4
Early online date27 Jun 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Jun 2017


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