Bottom Line: African American patients were less likely to receive guideline-appropriate statin therapy than white patients and the difference can be explained by a combination of demographic and clinical characteristics, socioeconomic status, patient beliefs and clinician factors.
Why The Research Is Interesting: African American individuals are at higher risk of hardening and narrowing of the arteries than white individuals, although reasons for this difference are unknown.
Who and When: 5,689 patients in a nationwide registry who were eligible for statin therapy and who have, or are at high risk for, atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.
What (Study Measures and Outcomes): Use and dosing of statin therapy according to the 2013 American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association guideline by race (African American or white)
How (Study Design): This was a registry-based study.
Authors: Michael G. Nanna, M.D., Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, and coauthors
Results: African Americans patients were slightly less likely than white individuals to receive statins overall and less likely to receive statins at guideline-recommended intensity, although different perceptions and beliefs regarding statin therapy, demographics, clinical characteristics, socioeconomic status and lower frequency of care by cardiologists accounted for the differences.
Study Limitations: Researchers didn't assess the reasoning behind clinician decisions to prescribe or not prescribe statin therapy; therefore, it is possible that there could have been contraindications to therapy in both African American and white participants or patient refusal.
Related material: The Editor's Note, "Addressing Cardiovascular Disease Disparities - Are We Getting Closer to the Truth?" by Clyde W. Yancy, M.D., M.Sc., Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, and Deputy Editor, JAMA Cardiology, is also available on the For The Media website.
To Learn More: The full study is available on the For The Media website.
Editor's Note: Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.
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