Media Room

For Immediate Release

Truven Health Analytics-NPR Health Poll Finds Nearly Three Quarters of American Heart Patients are on Statins

Half Deem Potential Side Effects “Acceptable”

Ann Arbor, MI, Aug. 02, 2012 — Nearly three quarters of Americans who are taking prescription medication to manage the risk of a heart attack said they are taking a statin, according to the Truven Health Analytics-NPR Health Poll.  Truven Health Analytics was formerly the Healthcare business of Thomson Reuters Truven Health Analytics and NPR conduct a monthly poll to gauge attitudes and opinions on a wide range of health issues. The survey, which asked respondents about the specific type of cholesterol-lowering drug, found that 70 percent of Americans who need to manage their heart health are doing so with a statin. Of those respondents, 81 percent said they are aware of the potential side effects associated with the drug, which can include muscle weakness, fatigue, memory loss, and increased risk of diabetes.

When asked about which of these potential results they would accept, sentiment was split down the middle. Fifty percent said there were no side effects that they would deem acceptable. Of the remaining 49.9 percent, fatigue was the most acceptable (71 percent), followed by muscle weakness (54 percent), memory loss (25 percent), and increased risk of diabetes (24 percent).

Overall, 6 percent of respondents said they had previously suffered a heart attack. Of those who had not sustained a heart attack, 8 percent were told they were at risk for one.  Among respondents who had a heart attack or were at risk, 83 percent said they have lowered their risk by making lifestyle changes such as weight loss, exercise, and healthy diet. 

“There is a great deal of evidence that statins can prevent the reoccurrence of heart attacks and some evidence that they can prevent the first one in patients who are at risk.   It is great to see that the vast majority of patients who have had a heart attack or are at great risk of having one are embracing both lifestyle changes as well as medications to prevent this potentially devastating event, ” said Raymond Fabius, M.D., chief medical officer at Truven Health Analytics.  “In fact our data has demonstrated a reduction in the incidence of heart attacks in association with an increased usage of statins and beta blockers on a national scale.”

To date, the Truven Health Analytics-NPR Health Poll has explored numerous health topics, including generic drugs, abortion, vaccines, food allergies, and organic and genetically modified foods. NPR's reports on the surveys are archived online at the Shots health blog here:

Truven Health Analytics maintains a library of poll results here.

The Truven Health Analytics-NPR Health Poll is powered by the Truven Health PULSESM Healthcare Survey, an independently funded, nationally representative telephone poll that collects information about health-related behaviors and attitudes and healthcare utilization from more than 100, 000 US households annually. Survey questions are developed in conjunction with NPR. The figures in this month's poll are based on 3, 006 participants interviewed from May1-12, 2012. The margin of error is 1.8 percent.

For a copy of the full survey, click here.

About NPR
NPR is an award-winning, multimedia news organization and an influential force in American life. In collaboration with more than 900 independent public radio stations nationwide, NPR strives to create a more informed public - one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas and cultures.

About Truven Health Analytics, part of the IBM Watson Health Business

Truven Health Analytics®, part of the IBM Watson Health™ business, provides market-leading performance improvement solutions built on data integrity, advanced analytics and domain expertise. For more than 40 years, our insights and solutions have been providing hospitals and clinicians, employers and health plans, state and federal government agencies, life sciences companies and policymakers, the facts they need to make confident decisions that directly affect the health and well-being of people and organizations in the US and around the world. The company was acquired by IBM in 2016 to help form a new business, Watson Health. Watson Health aspires to improve lives and give hope by delivering innovation to address the world’s most pressing health challenges through data and cognitive insights.

Truven Health Analytics owns some of the most trusted brands in healthcare, such as MarketScan®, 100 Top Hospitals®, Advantage Suite®, Micromedex®, Simpler® and ActionOI®. Truven Health has its principal offices in Ann Arbor, MI, Chicago, IL, and Denver, CO.


Brian Erni
For Truven Health Analytics
J. Roderick, Inc. Public Relations