Evidence-based Practice Center Produces Systematic Review on Statins for Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in Adults

Roger Chou M.D.

The Pacific Northwest Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC), part of the Department of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology (DMICE), has produced an evidence report and systematic review on statins for the prevention of cardiovascular disease in adults, published in JAMA November 13, 2016. The report was used by the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) to inform their recommendations on the topic.

A major finding of the report was that statins help prevent heart attacks and strokes in adults with cardiovascular risk factors such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and smoking but have not yet had a heart attack or stroke.

The Task Force is now recommending initiating use of low- to moderate-dose statins in adults aged 40 to 75 years without a history of cardiovascular disease (CVD) who have these risk factors and a calculated 10-year CVD event risk of 10% or greater.

The review was led by EPC director and professor Roger Chou, M.D., with co-authors research associate Tracy Dana, M.L.S., research associate Ian Blazina, M.P.H., former research assistant Monica Daeges, and Thomas Jeanne, M.D., formerly an OHSU preventive medicine resident and now an epidemiologist with the Multnomah County Health Department.

“Cardiovascular disease is responsible for one out of every three adult deaths in the U.S. and is often silent until a heart attack or stroke occurs – so understanding the effectiveness of statins in people without a prior heart attack or stroke is very important.” said Dr. Chou.

“The Pacific Northwest EPC was pleased to conduct the scientific review for the US Preventive Services Task Force to inform its recommendations, which have broad policy and clinical implications, and will add to the ongoing dialogue about the appropriate use of statins for prevention of a first heart attach or stroke.”

The EPC has conducted evidence reviews for the USPSTF since 1998, producing reviews on more than 50 topics in the past 18 years.

More information on the EPC paper in JAMA can be found at