1. Statin use for primary intervention of cardiovascular disease is around 23% lower in lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals compared to the general population.
2. Rates for secondary intervention of cardiovascular disease were comparable between the two populations.
Evidence Rating Level: 3 (Average)
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the foremost cause of death in the United States. In particular, sexual and gender minority individuals have been identified by the National Institutes of Health as being at greater risk for CVD events. This is thought to be due to elevated stress being linked to chronic disease, including CVD. The primary class of medications used for CVD prevention are statins, which have been extensively shown to lower CVD morbidity and mortality. Presently, there is a lack of research on statin usage in lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals, given the elevated CVD risk for this population. The goal of the current study was to compare the prevalence of statin use for primary or secondary CVD intervention in LGB and non-LGB American adults, aged 40 years and older. Primary intervention individuals were defined as those with no CVD diagnosis (but who would benefit from statins due to conditions such as diabetes or dyslipidemia), whereas secondary intervention individuals were defined as those with a CVD diagnosis. The data was collected through online surveys that were advertised on Facebook, with the ads targeting men and women in the entire country, as well as targeting users with interests in LGB-related pages. There were 1,531 respondents (59.6% women, 90.6% white). Overall, the results showed that among primary intervention individuals, the LGB population had significantly lower rates of statin use (20.8% vs 43.8%, p < 0.001). For secondary intervention however, the use of statins in the LGB population was comparable to the non-LGB population (57.1% vs 57.5%, p = 0.999). These study findings underlie the importance of identifying barriers to statin use in the LGB population, and developing programs that are tailored to LGB individuals that promote statin use, especially for primary intervention.
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