Background/Aims: We evaluated the contemporary use of lipid-lowering therapy (LLT) in Korean patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), and identified factors associated with statin non-prescription.
Methods: Using the Korean Health Insurance Review and Assessment data, we identified LLT-naïve subjects newly diagnosed with ASCVD between 2011 and 2012, and followed up until 2015. LLT-naïve status was defined as no LLT prescription for 1 year before ASCVD diagnosis. ASCVD was defined as first hospitalization or emergency room visit for coronary artery disease (CAD), acute cerebrovascular disease (CVD), or peripheral artery disease (PAD). Statin intensity was defined per the 2013 American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association guideline for cholesterol treatment.
Results: The study enrolled 80,884 subjects newly diagnosed with ASCVD, of whom only 48,725 (60.2%) received LLT during the follow-up period. Statin, combination of statin and non-statin, and non-statin LLT were administered in 50.5%, 9.7%, and 0.1% of all subjects, respectively. Statins were prescribed to 80.4% of CAD patients but only to 50.2% and 46.8% of CVD and PAD patients. Statin-based LLT usually had moderate- (77.2%) or high-intensity (18.5%). Subjects not prescribed statins were younger or older (< 40 or ≥ 70 years), more commonly female, and more likely to have comorbidities. Statins were prescribed at the time of ASCVD diagnosis in 45.5% of all subjects, and in 53.0% within 90 days of diagnosis.
Conclusions: Only 60% of LLT-naïve Korean patients newly diagnosed with ASCVD received statins. Statins were often prescribed in subjects with CAD but less commonly in those with CVD or PAD. Moderate-intensity statins were most frequently used.