Recent Blog Articles

Heart Health

What do Twitter posts say about statins?

October 01, 2020

Many provide links to published research about these heart -protecting drugs. Others mention personal beliefs about statins, some of which are inaccurate.

a9379abf-a069-42a2-b651-e2c1371dd23a

Statins are among the most frequently prescribed medications in the United States. These cholesterol-lowering drugs help reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes, especially for people who've already had one of those life-threatening events. But many people stop taking their statins or don't take them as prescribed, a phenomenon doctors refer to as nonadherence.

Hoping to gain some insight into this trend, researchers analyzed 11,852 posts that mentioned statins on Twitter over a five-year period. About a quarter of Americans use Twitter, which is one of the most popular social media platforms. Although many of the tweets featured ads or financial market information, nearly half were related to health issues associated with statins. Of these, more than a third provided resource information, such as a link to a published study. About 20% included personal beliefs or attitudes about statins, which proved to be quite polarized. Some people described statins as lifesaving, while others referred to them as poisonous or deadly, according to the researchers, whose study was published June 25, 2020, in JAMA Network Open.

To continue reading this article, you must log in.

Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.

  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »

I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.

Sign Me Up

Already a member? Login ».

Disclaimer:

As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update 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.

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Thanks for visiting. Don't miss your FREE gift.

The Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness, is yours absolutely FREE when you sign up to receive Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Sign up to get tips for living a healthy lifestyle, with ways to fight inflammation and improve cognitive health, plus the latest advances in preventative medicine, diet and exercise, pain relief, blood pressure and cholesterol management, and more.

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Get helpful tips and guidance for everything from fighting inflammation to finding the best diets for weight loss...from exercises to build a stronger core to advice on treating cataracts. PLUS, the latest news on medical advances and breakthroughs from Harvard Medical School experts.

BONUS! Sign up now and
get a FREE copy of the
Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Stay on top of latest health news from Harvard Medical School.

Plus, get a FREE copy of the Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness.