Contemporary National Patterns of Eligibility and Use of Novel Lipid-Lowering Therapies in the United States

Miles Shen, Arash Aghajani Nargesi, Khurram Nasir, Deepak L. Bhatt, Rohan Khera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: The emergence of PCSK9i (proprotein convertase subtilisin kexin type 9 inhibitor) and icosapent ethyl (IPE) has expanded the role of lipid-lowering therapies beyond statins. Despite recommendations by clinical practice guidelines, their national eligibility and use rates remain unclear. METHODS AND RESULTS: In the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data from 2017 to 2020, we assessed eligibility and the use of statins, PCSK9i, and IPE among US adults according to American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association guideline recommendations. Eligibility for PCSK9i and IPE were determined in the following 2 scenarios: (1) assuming existing lipid-lowering therapy as the maximum tolerated before assessing eligibility for novel therapies and (2) assessing eligibility after assuming initiation and maximal escalation of preexisting lipid-lowering therapies and accounting for expected lipid improvements. Of 2729 sampled individuals, representing 149.3 million adults, 1376 had indications for statins, representing 65.8 million or 44.0% (95% CI, 40.9%– 47.2%) of adults. Current statin use was 45% of those eligible and was low across demographic groups. A total of 9.7 and 11.6 million adults would benefit from PCSK9i and IPE, respectively, based on lipid profiles and existing therapies. Assuming maximal escalation of statins and addition of ezetimibe, 4.1% (95% CI, 2.8%– 5.4%) of adults or 6.1 million would benefit from PCSK9i and 6.8% (95% CI, 5.4%– 8.3%) or 10.2 million from IPE. CONCLUSIONS: Six and 10 million individuals have clinical profiles whereby PCSK9i and IPE, respectively, would be expected to improve cardiovascular outcomes even after maximum escalation of statins and ezetimibe use, but remain undertreated with lipid-lowering therapies. Optimal use of lipid-targeted agents that include these novel agents is needed to improve population health outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere026075
Pages (from-to)e026075
JournalJournal of the American Heart Association
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 20 2022


  • PCSK9 inhibitor
  • icosapent ethyl
  • lipid-lowering therapy
  • United States/epidemiology
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Subtilisins
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors/therapeutic use
  • Adult
  • Ezetimibe/therapeutic use
  • Proprotein Convertases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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