Record linkage used to determine cost-effectiveness of statin

The European Heart Journal published a new record linkage study investigating the long-term impact of statin treatment on healthcare resource utilization and cardiovascular disease prevention. Using a randomized controlled trial, SHIP investigator Ian Ford and colleagues investigated the impact of a 5-year pravastatin treatment on men with high levels of cholesterol but no history of myocardial infarction. Six thousand five-hundred and ninety-five (6,595) men aged 45 – 54 participated in the study. Linking trial data to routinely collected health records enabled the team to follow up participants for an additional 10 years and perform an extended analysis. Results show a huge reduction in healthcare resource utilization (i.e. fewer hospital admissions and days in hospital), cost savings for the NHS, and an increase in quality of life.

The record linkage study, which is part of the West of Scotland Coronary Prevention Study (WOSCOPS) of the Robertson Centre for Biostatistics at the University of Glasgow, involved the Information Services Division of the NHS National Services Scotland, Western Infirmary, and the Department of Medical Cardiology at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

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