Research we're watching
If you've had a heart attack, national guidelines strongly recommend taking a high-intensity statin to prevent a second heart attack. But a study of Medicare recipients finds that where you live may affect your chances of receiving a statin prescription.
People living in New England were most likely to receive a high-intensity statin (74%), while those from the West South Central states (such as Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana) were the least likely (41%). The data came from nearly 140,000 people ages 66 and older who were hospitalized for a heart attack from 2011 to 2015. The findings were published online July 24 by JAMA Cardiology.
Geography was by far the strongest predictor of statin-prescribing habits. But people treated in hospitals with fewer than 100 beds were less likely to be prescribed a high-intensity statin than those in hospitals with 500 or more beds. Women were also less likely than men to get high-intensity statins.
Image: rogerashford/Getty Images
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.