BACKGROUND: This study examined treatment patterns, possible statin intolerance, and incidence of cardiovascular events (CVEs) in 2 cohorts of patients with high cardiovascular risk (i.e., patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease [ASCVD] and patients with diabetes mellitus).Methods and Results:A retrospective cohort study examined adults initiating either a statin or ezetimibe from 1 January 2006 to 31 May 2014 in the Japan Medical Data Center database. The first observed statin or ezetimibe prescription defined the index date. Patients had ≥12 months of pre- and post-index date plan enrollment. Two high-risk cohorts, the ASCVD cohort and diabetes cohort, were created based on diagnoses observed during the 12 months' pre-index date. Treatment patterns, possible statin intolerance, and incidence of CVEs were reported. In the ASCVD cohort (n=5,302), 32.9% discontinued therapy, 7.7% switched to a non-index statin or non-statin lipid-lowering therapy, and 11.2% augmented index therapy in the 12 months' post-index date; only 0.3% were using high-intensity statins and 10% had possible statin intolerance. Also, 8.1% had any new CVE during the follow-up period. Treatment patterns and incidence of CVEs among the diabetes cohort were similar to those of the ASCVD cohort.
CONCLUSIONS: High cardiovascular risk Japanese patients had frequent treatment modifications, although use of high-intensity statin doses was rare. These patterns may indicate that alternative therapies for lipid lowering are needed.