Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Why Do Patients Decline Statin Therapy?

Over 50% of patients eligible for statin therapy but not currently on treatment were never offered one by their doctor, a new study found. Patient concern about side effects was the leading reason for statin refusal or discontinuation. The study included the 5,693 adults recommended for statin therapy in the Patient and Provider Assessment of Lipid Management (PALM) registry. Patient surveys evaluated statin experience, reasons for declining or discontinuing statins, and beliefs about statins and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. Researchers found:

  • 26.5% of adults were not on treatment.
  • Of patients not on a statin, 59.2% reported never being offered a statin, 10.1% declined a statin, and 30.7% had discontinued therapy.
  • Fear of side effects and perceived side effects from statins were the most common reasons for declining or discontinuation.
  • Many patients were willing to reconsider statin therapy if offered.


Bradley CK, Wang TY, Li S, et al. Patient-reported reasons for declining or discontinuing statin therapy: Insights from the PALM registry. [Published online ahead of print March 27, 2019]. J Am Heart Assoc. doi:10.1161/JAHA.118.011765.