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Use of statins and beta-blockers after acute myocardial infarction according to income and education


Objective: To study the initiation of and long-term refill persistency with statins and beta-blockers after acute myocardial infarction (AMI) according to income and education.

Design and setting: Linkage of individuals through national registers of hospitalisations, drug dispensation, income and education.

Participants: 30 078 patients aged 30–74 years surviving first hospitalisation for AMI in Denmark between 1995 and 2001.

Main outcome measures: Initiation of statin or beta-blocker treatment (out-patient claim of prescriptions within 6 months of discharge) and refill persistency (first break in treatment lasting at least 90 days, and re-initiation of treatment after a break).

Results: When simultaneously estimating the effect of income and education on initiation of treatment, the effect of education attenuated and a clear income gradient remained for both drugs. Among patients aged 30–64 years, high income (adjusted hazard ratio (HR) 1.27; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.19–1.35) and medium income (HR 1.13; 95% CI 1.06–1.20) was associated with initiation of statin treatment compared with low income. The risk of break in statin treatment was lower for patients with high (HR 0.73; 95% CI 0.66–0.82) and medium (HR 0.82; 95% CI 0.74–0.92) income compared with low income, whereas there was a trend in the opposite direction concerning a break in beta-blocker treatment. There was no gradient in re-initiation of treatment.

Conclusion: Patients with low compared with high income less frequently initiated preventive treatment post-AMI, had worse long-term persistency with statins, but tended to have better persistency with beta-blockers. Low income by itself seems not to be associated with poor long-term refill persistency post-AMI.

  • acute myocardial infarction
  • statins
  • beta-blockers
  • income and education
  • initiation and persistency

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