USPSTF Guidance Would Lead to 9 Million Fewer Statin Users Than ACC/AHA Recommendations — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
April 19, 2017

USPSTF Guidance Would Lead to 9 Million Fewer Statin Users Than ACC/AHA Recommendations

By Kelly Young

Edited by David G. Fairchild, MD, MPH, and Lorenzo Di Francesco, MD, FACP, FHM

Adhering to the 2016 U.S. Preventive Services Task Force statin guidelines could result in 9 million fewer adults starting statins, compared with following the 2013 guidelines from the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association, according to a JAMA study.

Briefly, the ACC and AHA recommend statin initiation in patients with a 10-year risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease of at least 7.5%. Meanwhile, the USPSTF recommends statins be considered when the risk is 10% or higher and at least one cardiovascular risk factor is present.

Researchers used National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data to study the guideline's effects on 3400 adults aged 40 to 75 who were free of CVD.

If the NHANES survey population followed USPSTF guidelines, 16% more adults would be eligible for statin therapy, while implementing ACC/AHA guidelines would result in an increase of 24%, which equals an estimated 17 million new users under USPSTF versus 26 million under ACC/AHA guidelines. Adults under age 60 and those with diabetes accounted for much of the gap.

Dr. Thomas L. Schwenk, deputy editor of NEJM Journal Watch General Medicine, says that those younger than 60 "may benefit from a more detailed discussion of other approaches to CVD risk reduction."

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