Introduction: Persistence with lipid-lowering drug therapy by cardiovascular patients in Hungary has not been studied previously. This study was designed to determine the rate with which Hungarian patients with hyperlipidemia persist in taking lipid-lowering agents, and to compare this with rates reported from other countries. Material and methods: This was a retrospective study that utilized data from the Institutional Database of the National Health Insurance Fund to analyze persistence rates with statins and ezetimibe. The study included data for patients who started lipid-lowering therapy between January 1, 2007, and March 31, 2009. Variables included type of lipid-lowering therapy, year of therapy start, and patient age. Main outcome measures were medians of persistence in months, percentages of patients persisting in therapy for 6 and 12 months, and Kaplan-Meier persistence plots. Results: The percentage of patients who persisted with overall statin therapy was 46% after 1 month, 40.3% after 2 months, 27% after 6 months, and 20.1% after 12 months. Persistence was slightly greater for statin therapy started during 2008 than during 2007. Older patients were more persistent with therapy than younger patients. Persistence with the combination of ezetimibe-statin therapy was greater than with statin or ezetimibe monotherapy. Conclusions: Persistence with statin therapy by patients in Hungary was low compared with other countries. Low persistence may have negated potential clinical benefits of long-term statin therapy.
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