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Study links negative news stories about statins to patients’ likelihood of giving them up

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 02 December 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h6522
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

Negative news stories about statins are followed by reduced compliance, a study in Denmark has found. Positive stories have the opposite effect.

The authors, Sune Fallgaard Nielsen and Børge Grønne Nordestgaard of Copenhagen University Hospital, said that although they could not conclude that the negative stories caused early discontinuation, their findings indicated that this was likely.

“If negative statin related news stories did not exist at all, then early statin discontinuation would decrease by 1.3% in the whole of the population,” Nordestgaard said in a press release accompanying the paper, published in European Heart Journal. In the paper itself the authors were more cautious, saying that “great care should be taken in the interpretation of the present results.”1

They reached their conclusions by looking at more than 670 000 people prescribed statins between 1995 and 2010—all those …

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