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Statin Use for the Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in AdultsUS Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement

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Abstract

Importance  Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of morbidity and death in the US and is the cause of more than 1 of every 4 deaths. Coronary heart disease is the single leading cause of death and accounts for 43% of deaths attributable to CVD in the US. In 2019, an estimated 558 000 deaths were caused by coronary heart disease and 109 000 deaths were caused by ischemic stroke.

Objective  To update its 2016 recommendation, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) commissioned a review of the evidence on the benefits and harms of statins for reducing CVD-related morbidity or mortality or all-cause mortality.

Population  Adults 40 years or older without a history of known CVD and who do not have signs and symptoms of CVD.

Evidence Assessment  The USPSTF concludes with moderate certainty that statin use for the prevention of CVD events and all-cause mortality in adults aged 40 to 75 years with no history of CVD and who have 1 or more CVD risk factors (ie, dyslipidemia, diabetes, hypertension, or smoking) and an estimated 10-year CVD event risk of 10% or greater has at least a moderate net benefit. The USPSTF concludes with moderate certainty that statin use for the prevention of CVD events and all-cause mortality in adults aged 40 to 75 years with no history of CVD and who have 1 or more of these CVD risk factors and an estimated 10-year CVD event risk of 7.5% to less than 10% has at least a small net benefit. The USPSTF concludes that the evidence is insufficient to determine the balance of benefits and harms of statin use for the primary prevention of CVD events and mortality in adults 76 years or older with no history of CVD.

Recommendation  The USPSTF recommends that clinicians prescribe a statin for the primary prevention of CVD for adults aged 40 to 75 years who have 1 or more CVD risk factors (ie, dyslipidemia, diabetes, hypertension, or smoking) and an estimated 10-year CVD risk of 10% or greater. (B recommendation) The USPSTF recommends that clinicians selectively offer a statin for the primary prevention of CVD for adults aged 40 to 75 years who have 1 or more of these CVD risk factors and an estimated 10-year CVD risk of 7.5% to less than 10%. The likelihood of benefit is smaller in this group than in persons with a 10-year risk of 10% or greater. (C recommendation) The USPSTF concludes that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of initiating a statin for the primary prevention of CVD events and mortality in adults 76 years or older. (I statement)

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Article Information

Corresponding Author: Carol M. Mangione, MD, MSPH, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, 10940 Wilshire Blvd, Ste 700, Los Angeles, CA 90024 (chair@uspstf.net)

Accepted for Publication: July 13, 2022.

The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) members: Carol M. Mangione, MD, MSPH; Michael J. Barry, MD; Wanda K. Nicholson, MD, MPH, MBA; Michael Cabana, MD, MA, MPH; David Chelmow, MD; Tumaini Rucker Coker, MD, MBA; Esa M. Davis, MD, MPH; Katrina E. Donahue, MD, MPH; Carlos Roberto Jaén, MD, PhD, MS; Martha Kubik, PhD, RN; Li Li, MD, PhD, MPH; Gbenga Ogedegbe, MD, MPH; Lori Pbert, PhD; John M. Ruiz, PhD; James Stevermer, MD, MSPH; John B. Wong, MD.

Affiliations of The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) members: University of California, Los Angeles (Mangione); Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts (Barry); University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Nicholson); Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, New York (Cabana); Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond (Chelmow); University of Washington, Seattle (Coker); University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Davis); University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Donahue); The University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio (Jaén); George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia (Kubik); University of Virginia, Charlottesville (Li); New York University, New York, New York (Ogedegbe); University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester (Pbert); University of Arizona, Tucson (Ruiz); University of Missouri, Columbia (Stevermer); Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts (Wong).

Author Contributions: Dr Mangione had full access to all of the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis. The USPSTF members contributed equally to the recommendation statement.

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Authors followed the policy regarding conflicts of interest described at https://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Name/conflict-of-interest-disclosures. All members of the USPSTF receive travel reimbursement and an honorarium for participating in USPSTF meetings.

Funding/Support: The USPSTF is an independent, voluntary body. The US Congress mandates that the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) support the operations of the USPSTF.

Role of the Funder/Sponsor: AHRQ staff assisted in the following: development and review of the research plan, commission of the systematic evidence review from an Evidence-based Practice Center, coordination of expert review and public comment of the draft evidence report and draft recommendation statement, and the writing and preparation of the final recommendation statement and its submission for publication. AHRQ staff had no role in the approval of the final recommendation statement or the decision to submit for publication.

Disclaimer: Recommendations made by the USPSTF are independent of the US government. They should not be construed as an official position of AHRQ or the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Additional Contributions: We thank Howard Tracer, MD (AHRQ), who contributed to the writing of the manuscript, and Lisa Nicolella, MA (AHRQ), who assisted with coordination and editing.

Additional Information: The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) makes recommendations about the effectiveness of specific preventive care services for patients without obvious related signs or symptoms. It bases its recommendations on the evidence of both the benefits and harms of the service and an assessment of the balance. The USPSTF does not consider the costs of providing a service in this assessment. The USPSTF recognizes that clinical decisions involve more considerations than evidence alone. Clinicians should understand the evidence but individualize decision-making to the specific patient or situation. Similarly, the USPSTF notes that policy and coverage decisions involve considerations in addition to the evidence of clinical benefits and harms. Published by JAMA®—Journal of the American Medical Association under arrangement with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). ©2022 AMA and United States Government, as represented by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), by assignment from the members of the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). All rights reserved.

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