Probing cost-effective strategies for statin use among African Americans

Using the coronary artery calcium score to determine when to start statin therapy among African Americans at intermediate risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease is a more cost-effective approach than prescribing the medication to all African American patients at intermediate risk, according to new research led by Ankur Pandya, assistant professor of health decision science at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The study, published in JAMA Cardiology, was highly sensitive to patient preferences when it came to taking a daily statin, according to a May 15, 2020 article in TCTMD.

“There’s a real preference among some patients where the simple act of taking a pill every day for their heart health makes them feel worse about their health,” Pandya told TCTMD. “For, say, 75% of the population, they don’t care, and that’s controlling for side effects, controlling for costs. The act of taking a pill every day, 75% would think of it as taking a vitamin. Another 10% to 20% have real strong feelings about this to the extent where they’d be willing to trade years off their life to avoid taking that pill.”

Read the TCTMD article: Coronary Calcium-Guided Statin Strategy Cost-effective in African-Americans