Trends in statin utilisation in US adults with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
BACKGROUND: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has high morbidity and mortality related to cardiovascular disease (CVD), but statins have been historically underutilised in these patients due to concern for hepatotoxicity. AIMS: To characterise trends in statin use among individuals with NAFLD and to determine predictors of statin utilisation in this population. METHODS: Individuals with NAFLD were identified from 2005 to 2018 continuous National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Trends in statin use over time were assessed, and predictors of statin under-utilisation for primary prevention were identified. The roles of a known diagnosis of liver disease and disease severity were examined. RESULTS: We included 14 113 individuals; 34.6% had NAFLD, of whom 5.4% reported a liver disease diagnosis. There was a significant increase in statin use for primary prevention between 2005 and 2018 (18.1%-25.0%; P = 0.03), but guideline-indicated use for this purpose was low (54.5% between 2005 and 2012; 48.6% between 2013 and 2018). A known NAFLD diagnosis was a negative predictor of statin use during the earlier time period but not more recently. Utilisation did not decrease with increasing liver disease severity. CONCLUSIONS: In a nationally representative population with NAFLD, statin use for primary prevention has increased over time, but guideline-concordant use remains low. A known liver disease diagnosis was associated with lack of statin use in the earlier time period but not more recently, suggesting a changing perspective of underlying liver disease impacting statin utilisation. Further work to improve guideline-indicated statin use in this high-risk population is needed.
Henson, JB; Patel, YA; Muir, AJ
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