Less than a third of older patients that just experienced a heart attack get the recommended high-intensity statins after being discharged, according to a new study that looked at prescriptions filled. The authors of the trial studied a random sample of Medicare beneficiaries ages 65 to 74 who filled a statin prescription after having a heart attack or bypass surgery between 2007 and 2009. Of the 8,000 patients who filled a statin prescription, only 27% of them were for a high-intensity statin. Even though the clinical guidelines supported by evidence indicate that high dose statins are better than low dose statins after an acute cardiac event, many doctors appear not to be following them. The researchers also question if there is a confusion or reluctance on the patient side as well. What are your thoughts about this study? How do you counsel your patients about the statin therapy?
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