To study the initiation of and long‐term refill persistency with statins and beta‐blockers after acute myocardial infarction (AMI) according to income and education.
Design and setting
Linkage of individuals through national registers of hospitalisations, drug dispensation, income and education.
30 078 patients aged 30–74 years surviving first hospitalisation for AMI in Denmark between 1995 and 2001.
Main outcome measures
Initiation of statin or beta‐blocker treatment (out‐patient claim of prescriptions within 6 months of discharge) and refill persistency (first break in treatment lasting at least 90 days, and re‐initiation of treatment after a break).
When simultaneously estimating the effect of income and education on initiation of treatment, the effect of education attenuated and a clear income gradient remained for both drugs. Among patients aged 30–64 years, high income (adjusted hazard ratio (HR) 1.27; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.19–1.35) and medium income (HR 1.13; 95% CI 1.06–1.20) was associated with initiation of statin treatment compared with low income. The risk of break in statin treatment was lower for patients with high (HR 0.73; 95% CI 0.66–0.82) and medium (HR 0.82; 95% CI 0.74–0.92) income compared with low income, whereas there was a trend in the opposite direction concerning a break in beta‐blocker treatment. There was no gradient in re‐initiation of treatment.
Patients with low compared with high income less frequently initiated preventive treatment post‐AMI, had worse long‐term persistency with statins, but tended to have better persistency with beta‐blockers. Low income by itself seems not to be associated with poor long‐term refill persistency post‐AMI.