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Health Reports, January 2016

Released: 2016-01-20

Population health impact of statin treatment in Canada

Statins are one of the most frequently prescribed classes of drugs in Canada. They are used to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) events, such as heart attacks.

With demographic, health and lifestyle information from the 2007 to 2011 Canadian Health Measures Survey, this study reports levels of risk of a CVD event among 20- to 79-year-old Canadians, and the current and potential impact of statin treatment.

Using the Canadian Cardiovascular Society's (CCS) recommended risk tool, the overall risk of a CVD event over 10 years was estimated at about 9%, or approximately 2.1 million events (about 210,000 each year) for the population aged 20 to 79. Almost 20% of adults would be classified at high risk of a CVD event, based on the presence of cardiovascular risk factors. Another 9% would be classified at intermediate risk, and 71% at low risk.

With regard to treatment, an estimated 2.8 million Canadians aged 20 to 79 (12%) reported current treatment with statins during the 2007 to 2011 period. According to the CCS guidelines, approximately 6.5 million Canadians aged 20 to 79 (27%) would be recommended for statin treatment based on their risk of a CVD event during the same period.

While levels of statin treatment from 2007 to 2011 avoided an estimated 18,900 CVD events per year, recommended levels of treatment would avoid an estimated 19,700 additional CVD events. Most (approximately 16,000) of these events were estimated for high-risk individuals.

  Note to readers

This study uses combined data from the 2007 to 2011 Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS) to describe the cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk profile of 3,512 Canadians aged 20 to 79 and investigate the population health impact (CVD events prevented) of statins. The physical measures collected by the CHMS included fasting blood samples. This enabled a full lipid profile, which was necessary to calculate a respondents' CVD risk.

Current statin treatment patterns reported in the CHMS are compared with the 2012 Canadian Cardiovascular Society's (CCS) guidelines, according to which, individuals are recommended for statin treatment based on their risk of a CVD event over 10 years.

To assess the population health impact of statins, the number of CVD events potentially avoided was calculated for people reporting current treatment to the CHMS, and for people who, based on their risk profile, would be recommended for statin treatment according to the CCS guidelines.

Products

The article, "Population health impact of statin treatment in Canada," is available in the January 2016 online issue of Health Reports, Vol. 27, no. 1 (Catalogue number82-003-X), from the Browse by key resource module of our website under Publications.

This issue of Health Reports contains two other articles: "The 2006 Canadian Birth-Census Cohort" and "Validation of the 10-item Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10) in the 2012 Aboriginal Peoples Survey."

Contact information

For more information, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca).

For more information on the article "Population health impact of statin treatment in Canada," contact Deirdre A. Hennessy (deirdre.hennessy@canada.ca), Health Analysis Division.

For more information on the article "The 2006 Canadian Birth-Census Cohort," contact Tracey Bushnik (tracey.bushnik@canada.ca), Health Analysis Division.

For more information on the article "Validation of the 10-item Kessler Psychological Distress Scales (K10) in the 2012 Aboriginal Peoples Survey," contact Evelyne Bougie (evelyne.bougie@canada.ca), Health Analysis Division.

For information about Health Reports, contact Janice Felman (613-799-7746; janice.felman@canada.ca), Health Analysis Division.

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