Prescription patterns of lipid lowering agents among older patients in general practice: an analysis from a national database in the Netherlands

E. E. F. Kleipool, M. M. J. Nielen, J. C. Korevaar, R. E. Harskamp, Y. M. Smulders, E. Serné, A. Thijs, M. J. L. Peters, M. Muller

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Background: Dutch cardiovascular risk management guidelines state almost every older adult (≥70 years) is eligible for a lipid lowering drug (LLD). However, life expectancy, frailty or comorbidities may influence this treatment decision. Objective: investigate how many older adults, according to age, frailty (Drubbel-frailty index) and comorbidities were prescribed LLDs. Methods: data of 244,328 adults ≥70 years from electronic health records of 415 Dutch general practices from 2011-15 were used. Number of LLD prescriptions in patients with (n = 55,309) and without (n = 189,019) cardiovascular disease (CVD) was evaluated according to age, frailty and comorbidities. Results: about 69% of adults ≥70 years with CVD and 36% without CVD were prescribed a LLD. LLD prescriptions decreased with age; with CVD: 78% aged 70-74 years and 29% aged ≥90 years were prescribed a LLD, without CVD: 37% aged 70-74 years and 12% aged ≥90 years. In patients with CVD and within each age group, percentage of LLD prescriptions was 20% point(pp) higher in frail compared with non-frail. In patients without CVD, percentage of LLD prescriptions in frail patients was 11pp higher in adults aged 70-74 years and 40pp higher in adults aged ≥90 years compared to non-frail. Similar trends were seen in the analyses with number of comorbidities. Conclusion: in an older population, LLD prescriptions decreased with age but - contrary to our expectations - LLD prescriptions increased with higher frailty levels.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberafz034
Pages (from-to)577-582
Number of pages6
JournalAge and ageing
Issue number4
Early online date26 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • cardiovascular disease
  • frailty
  • lipid lowering drugs
  • older people

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