Health Services Research & Development

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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 Jul 25; 124(8):1165-1170.
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Abstract: 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.