Discontinuing statins extends and improves life for terminally ill, study suggests

Share this article:

Discontinuing cholesterol-busting drugs called statins would save money and potentially extend the lives of terminally ill patients, new research from Duke University School of Medicine suggests.

Duke researchers studied nearly 400 terminally ill patients who had been taking statins as prescribed for various health conditions. The median survival rate among the 192 patients whose statins were withdrawn was 229 days, compared to 190 days for another 192 patients who continued taking the medication.

In addition to having an overall better quality of life and improved psychological health, patients without statins saved as much as $716 per person over the course of the trial. Researchers extrapolated the data to conclude that patients in the late stages of illnesses could save more than $600 million a year by eliminating statins from their daily intake.

Even with the surprising findings, researchers acknowledged they point to a “thorny issue” of whether it is ever appropriate to discontinue non-life threatening medications for people with life-limiting diseases.

The research was conducted under the auspices of the Palliative Care Research Cooperative Group, a national research network focused on improving care for people with serious illnesses.

Share this article:

More in News

Bulk of Medicaid to be managed care in two years: Avalere

Bulk of Medicaid to be managed care in ...

More than three-quarters of Medicaid beneficiaries will be enrolled in a managed care plan as of 2016, according to an Avalere Health analysis released Thursday. The numbers reveal that managed ...

Nursing home asked for employee's personal information too often, jury rules

The human resources department of a Maine nursing home did not properly protect a former employee's personal identification information, a jury recently ruled.

Test could confirm sepsis within an hour

Nursing home residents might benefit from a new way of diagnosing and treating sepsis made possible by discoveries out of the University of British Columbia.