Time trends in statin utilisation and coronary mortality in Western European countries

Federico Vancheri*, Lars Backlund, Lars Erik Strender, Brian Godman, Björn Wettermark

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To determine whether there is a relation between statin utilisation and coronary heart disease (CHD) mortality in populations with different levels of coronary risk, and whether the relation changes over time. Design: Ecological study using national databases of dispensed medicines and mortality rates. Setting: Western European countries with similar public health systems. Main outcome measures: Population CHD mortality rates (rate/100 000) as a proxy for population coronary risk level, and statin utilisation expressed as Defined Daily Dose per one Thousand Inhabitants per Day (DDD/TID), in each country, for each year between 2000 and 2012. Spearman's correlation coefficients between CHD mortality and statin utilisation were calculated. Linear regression analysis was used to assess the relation between changes in CHD mortality and statin utilisation over the years. Results: 12 countries were included in the study. There was a wide range of CHD mortality reduction between the years 2000 and 2012 (from 25.9% in Italy to 57.9% in Denmark) and statin utilisation increase (from 121% in Belgium to 1263% in Denmark). No statistically significant relations were found between CHD mortality rates and statin utilisation, nor between changes in CHD and changes in statin utilisation in the countries over the years 2000 and 2012. Conclusions: Among the Western European countries studied, the large increase in statin utilisation between 2000 and 2012 was not associated with CHD mortality, nor with its rate of change over the years. Factors different from the individual coronary risk, such as population ageing, health authority programmes, guidelines, media attention and pharmaceutical industry marketing, may have influenced the large increase in statin utilisation. These need to be reexamined with a greater emphasis on prevention strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere010500
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Time trends in statin utilisation and coronary mortality in Western European countries'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this