Discontinuing statin therapy safe, beneficial for patients with terminal illness
the ONA take:
According to a new study published in the JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers from 15 Palliative Care Research Cooperative Group member sites have found that it is acceptable for patients with cancer, heart disease, and other life-limiting illness to discontinue statin medications or begin discussions about discontinuing statin therapy.
For the study, researchers analyzed the outcomes of 381 patients with a mean age of 74 who had between 1 month and 1 year left to live. About half of participants had cancer. Researchers divided the participants into two groups and had one group continue to take statins while the other group did not.
Results showed that the 212 participants survived beyond 60 days of study initiation. Researchers found no significant difference between mortality rates of those who continued statin therapy (20.3%) versus those who discontinued statin therapy (23.8%).
In regard to cost savings, the study showed that the surviving participants would save $716 each over the trial period. The national annual savings in 2014 would have been $529 million for generic statins.
It is acceptable for patients with cancer and other life-limiting illness to discontinue statin medications.
Research published today in JAMA Internal Medicine shows that it's okay for patients with cancer, heart disease and other life-limiting illnesses to stop taking statin medications, or at least begin conversations about making that choice.
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