The USAGE survey (Understanding Statin use in America and Gaps in Education) was conducted in 2011 and is the largest known cholesterol survey in the United States, with more than 10,100 participants. The USAGE survey provided a detailed picture of patient attitudes regarding high cholesterol and various treatment approaches, including lifestyle changes and medications—statins, specifically. The survey also explored patient perspectives about their relationships with their doctors, including the amount, type and value of information provided about cholesterol management.
The USAGE survey was conducted via an Internet-based, self-administered questionnaire developed by Kantar Health. The National Lipid Association was a partner in conducting the survey with Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc. and Eli Lilly and Company. The survey was funded by Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc. and Eli Lilly and Company.
Survey participants reported being highly satisfied with the information that their doctors provide to them about high cholesterol and its treatment, particularly with statins:
- More than eight in ten USAGE participants (85%) consider their doctor to be one of their two most valuable resources for information about cholesterol.
- Despite today’s numerous channels for healthcare information, more than half (53%) of USAGE participants use their physician as the sole source of information on statin therapy.
However, the survey also found possible gaps in communication and education that can affect a patient’s cholesterol management. The survey found that:
- Only about half of USAGE participants remember their cholesterol levels, even though the ability to remember cholesterol levels is correlated with treatment success.
- Only about half of USAGE participants remember receiving recommendations on diet and exercise at every doctor’s visit.
- Side effects were the leading reason that USAGE participants discontinued their statin medication, and one out of three USAGE participants did so without first discussing the issue with their doctor.
High cholesterol can be managed successfully with diet, exercise, and when needed, with medicine. Many people stop taking their statin medication, even when it’s working, without telling their healthcare provider. This can leave them vulnerable to serious risks of high cholesterol. It is important to communicate with your healthcare provider to make sure you have the right treatment option for you.
For more information and resources, including discussion guides for patients and healthcare providers, please visit the survey website at www.StatinUSAGE.com.