Effects of Statins for Secondary Prevention on Functioning and Other Outcomes Among Nursing Home Residents

Andrew R. Zullo, Richard Ofori-Asenso, Marci Wood, Allison Zuern, Yoojin Lee, Wen Chih Wu, James L. Rudolph, Danny Liew, Michael A. Steinman

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Studies examining the effects of statins after acute myocardial infarction (AMI) excluded frail older adults, especially nursing home (NH) residents, and few examined functional outcomes. Older NH residents may benefit less from statins and be particularly susceptible to adverse drug events like myopathy-related functional decline. We evaluated the effects of statins on 1-year functional decline, rehospitalization, and death in NH residents. Design: We conducted a retrospective cohort study using 2007-2010 linked national data from Minimum Data Set (MDS) assessments, Medicare claims, and Online Survey Certification and Reporting System records. Setting and Participants: We included US NH residents 65 years and older who were statin nonusers, were hospitalized for AMI between May 2007 and March 2010, and returned to the NH. Measures: Outcomes were functional decline, death, and rehospitalization in the first year after post-AMI NH admission. New statin users were 1:1 propensity-score matched to nonusers to adjust for 92 characteristics. We estimated hazard ratios (HRs) and restricted mean survival time differences with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) comparing individuals who did vs did not initiate statin therapy after AMI hospitalization. Results: Propensity-score matching yielded a cohort of 5440 residents. Mean age was 83 years and 69% were female. Statin use was associated with a reduction in mortality (HR 0.80, 95% CI 0.73-0.87), corresponding to a mean of 15.9 (95% CI 9.9-22.0) days of extended life expectancy. No overall differences in rehospitalization (HR 1.06, 95% CI 0.98-1.14) or functional decline (HR 1.00, 95% CI 0.88-1.14) were observed. Conclusions and Implications: Statins may reduce 1-year mortality by 20% without affecting function among older NH residents who wish to live longer after AMI. During shared decision making with these patients or their representatives, clinicians should consider communicating that the average benefit of statins is 16 days of additional survival over 1 year.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)500-507.e8
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of the American Medical Directors Association
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


  • activities of daily living
  • frailty
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA reductase inhibitors
  • nursing homes
  • secondary prevention

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