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Discontinuation of Statins in Veterans Admitted to Nursing Homes near the End of Life.

Thorpe CT, Sileanu FE, Mor MK, Zhao X, Aspinall S, Ersek M, Springer S, Niznik JD, Vu M, Schleiden LJ, Gellad WF, Hunnicutt J, Thorpe JM, Hanlon JT. Discontinuation of Statins in Veterans Admitted to Nursing Homes near the End of Life. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 2020 Nov 1; 68(11):2609-2619.

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BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Geriatric guidelines recommend against statin use in older adults with limited life expectancy (LLE) or advanced dementia (AD). This study examined resident and facility factors predicting statin discontinuation after nursing home (NH) admission in veterans with LLE/AD taking statins for secondary prevention. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study of Veterans Affairs (VA) bar code medication administration records, Minimum Data Set (MDS) assessments, and utilization records linked to Medicare claims. SETTING: VA NHs, known as community living centers (CLCs). PARTICIPANTS: Veterans aged 65 and older with coronary artery disease, stroke, or diabetes mellitus, type II, admitted in fiscal years 2009 to 2015, who met criteria for LLE/AD on their admission MDS and received statins in the week after admission (n = 13,110). MEASUREMENTS: Residents were followed until statin discontinuation (ie, gap in statin use = 14?days), death, or censoring due to discharge, day 91 of the stay, or end of the study period. Competing risk models assessed cumulative incidence and predictors of discontinuation, stratified by whether the resident had their end-of-life (EOL) status designated or used hospice at admission. RESULTS: Overall cumulative incidence of statin discontinuation was 31% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 30%-32%) by day 91, and it was markedly higher in those with (52%; 95% CI = 50%-55%) vs without (25%; 95% CI = 24%-26%) EOL designation/hospice. In patients with EOL designation/hospice (n = 2,374), obesity, congestive heart failure, and admission from nonhospital settings predicted decreased likelihood of discontinuation; AD, dependency in activities of daily living, greater number of medications, and geographic region predicted increased likelihood of discontinuation. In patients without EOL designation/hospice (n = 10,736), older age and several specific markers of poor prognosis predicted greater discontinuation, whereas obesity/overweight predicted decreased discontinuation. CONCLUSION: Most veterans with LLE/AD taking statins for secondary prevention do not discontinue statins following CLC admission. Designating residents as EOL status, hospice use, and individual clinical factors indicating poor prognosis may prompt deprescribing.

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