Use of the Joint British Society cardiovascular risk calculator before initiating statins for primary prevention in hospital medicine: experience from a large university teaching hospital
Pankaj Garg, Prashanth Raju, Ewa Sondej, Erwin Rodrigues, Gershan Davis
Aintree Cardiac Centre, University Hospital Aintree, Liverpool, UK
Introduction: Statin therapy is a well established treatment for hyperlipidemia. However, little is known about prescribing of statins for primary prevention in the real world, and even less about what happens to patients requiring primary prevention who are seen in a secondary care setting. The purpose of this research was to investigate the appropriateness of statin prescriptions by using the Joint British Society cardiovascular disease (JBS CVD) risk score for primary prevention in a large secondary care center.
Methods: We retrospectively analyzed 500 consecutive patients in whom a statin prescription was initiated over a four-month period. We excluded patients who met secondary prevention criteria. We used the JBS CVD risk prediction chart to calculate 10-year composite risk. We also studied which statins were prescribed and their starting doses.
Results: Of 500 patients consecutively started on statins in secondary care, 51 patients (10.2%) were treated for primary prevention. Of these, seven (14%) patients had a 10-year composite cardiovascular event risk of more than 20% (high-risk category), and were hence receiving appropriate therapy. Three main statins were prescribed for primary prevention, ie, atorvastatin (22 patients, 43%), simvastatin (25 patients, 49%), and pravastatin (four patients, 8%). The statins prescribed were initiated mainly at the 40 mg dose.
Conclusions: Statin prescribing in secondary care for primary prevention is limited to about 10% of initiations. There is some overprescribing, because 86% of these patients did not require statins when risk-stratified appropriately. The majority of the prescriptions were for simvastatin 40 mg and atorvastatin 40 mg.
Keywords: statins, primary prevention, hypercholesterolemia, cardiovascular disease, retrospective