Statin adherence and the risk of major coronary events in patients with diabetes: A nested case-control study

Päivi Ruokoniemi, Maarit J. Korhonen, Arja Helin-Salmivaara, Piia Lavikainen, Antti Jula, Seppo Y T Junnila, Raimo Kettunen, Risto Huupponen

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AIMS To evaluate whether good statin adherence is associated with a reduced incidence of major coronary events (MCEs) among diabetic patients with and without coronary heart disease (CHD). METHODS Using data derived by linkage of nationwide health databases in Finland, we conducted a nested case-control analysis of 3513 cases with an MCE, a composite of acute myocardial infarction and/or coronary revascularization, and 20090 matched controls identified from a cohort of 60677 statin initiators with diabetes. Cases and controls were matched according to gender, time of cohort entry and duration of follow-up and further classified to two risk groups according to the presence of CHD at statin initiation. The incidence of MCEs was compared between patients with good statin adherence (the proportion of days covered ≥80%) and patients with poor statin adherence (<80%). Odds ratios (OR) for MCEs were estimated by conditional logistic regression adjusting for several covariables. RESULTS Good statin adherence was associated with a reduced incidence of MCEs in those with prior CHD [OR 0.84 (95% CI 0.74-0.95)] and in those without it [OR 0.86 (95% CI 0.78-0.95)]. The association persisted among those followed up for 5 years or longer [OR 0.77 (95% CI 0.58-1.02) and OR 0.79 (95% CI 0.66-0.94) respectively]. In sensitivity analyses, a reduced MCE incidence was observed also in those without any documented cardiovascular disease (CVD) at statin initiation [OR 0.87 (95% CI 0.78-0.96) overall and OR 0.80 (95% CI 0.66-0.97) for those followed up 5 years or longer]. CONCLUSIONS In patients with diabetes, good adherence to statins predicts reduced incidence of MCEs irrespective of the presence of CHD at statin initiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)766-776
Number of pages11
JournalBritish Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Adherence to medical regimen
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Myocardial revascularization
  • Statins

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