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 and Washington, DC – August 2, 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 May 1-12, 2012. The margin of error is 1.8 percent.

For a copy of the full survey, click here.

About Truven Health Analytics Truven Health Analytics, formerly the Healthcare business of Thomson Reuters, delivers unbiased information, analytic tools, benchmarks, and services to the healthcare industry. Hospitals, government agencies, employers, health plans, clinicians, and pharmaceutical companies have relied on its solutions for over 30 years. Truven Health Analytics combines deep clinical, financial, and healthcare management expertise with innovative technology platforms and information assets to make healthcare better, collaborating with customers to uncover and realize opportunities for improving quality, efficiency, and outcomes. Truven Health Analytics employs approximately 2,200 people worldwide and has its principal offices in Ann Arbor, Chicago, and Denver. For more information, please visit truvenhealth.com.

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.

CONTACTS Brian Erni For Truven Health Analytics J. Roderick, Inc. Public Relations brian@jroderick.com 631.656.9736 631.495.7006

Anna Christopher Director, Media NPR achristopher@npr.org 202.513.2304 202.680.3848