RESEARCH – October 2005

Use of statins after myocardial infarction


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Background. Statins are considered routine treatment after myocardial infarction. These drugs are widely used for primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases in high risk population. Use of statins increased significantly in recent years in Estonia – from 1.23 DDD/1000/day in 2000 to 10.05 DDD/1000/day in 2004. However, to achieve the best results of treatment, statins have to be used for several years concomitantly with diet.

Aim of the study was to analyse the use of statins in patients who have suffered from myocardial infarction in Estonia.

Methods. The list of patients treated for acute or previous myocardial infarction during the period 01.01.2004-30.06.2004 was obtained from the database of the Estonian Health Insurance Fund. All prescriptions of statins reimbursed to the patients included in the list were analysed during 6 months (183 days) from the index episode.

Results. In the study period 10 324 patients were treated for acute or previous myocardial infarction (0.8% of the population covered by the scheme). During six months from the index episode statins were reimbursed to 2803 patients (27%). According to the database, statins were not reimbursed to 7521 patients, probably because the drugs were not prescribed for them, or because they did not follow the prescription. The difference between age and gender groups was considered statistically significant: statins were less used in older patients and in women. The most widely applied statins were simvastatin and pravastatin which were used by 76% of statinusers. Of the statinusers 9% used at least two different statins during the study period.

In conclusion. Of the patients treated for myocardial infarction during the first 6 months of 2004, only 27% used statins. Statins were used more by younger male patients. Treatment compliance was high in most age and gender groups.