Medications—along with diet, exercise, and smoking cessation—are a cornerstone of cardiovascular risk reduction. The use of statins, which are the medication of choice for prevention, has increased substantially in North America and Europe over the past three decades, and as a result, cholesterol levels and cardiovascular mortality have decreased.
But little is known about statin use in lower-income countries. BWH researchers recently conducted an observational study of statin use in India, which has the highest burden of cardiovascular disease among less-developed nations.
The researchers found that only a fraction of those eligible for a statin actually received the therapy, despite the wide variety of statins that are available to Indian consumers.
“Low rates of statin use in India may reflect problems with access to health care, affordability, under-diagnosis, and cultural beliefs,” said Niteesh Choudhry, MD, PhD, of the BWH Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics, and lead author of the paper. “Because of the growing burden of cardiovascular disease in lower-income countries such as India, there is an urgent need to increase statin use and ensure access to safe products whose use is based on evidence.” Continue reading “Researchers Study Statin Use in India”