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Automated Statin-associated Muscle Symptom Tracker May Help Tailor Therapy, Improve Adherence


AHA Scientific Sessions 2021

AHA Scientific Sessions 2021. Statin-associated muscle symptoms complicate treatment initiation and adherence; a new mHealth tool shows promise in reducing treatment cessation.

Text message-based platform for statin-associated muscle symptoms

For patients experiencing statin-associated muscle symptoms (SAMS), an automated text-message-based symptom tracking platform was found feasible and highly engaging with a response rate of 91.5%, reports a group of investigators led by Luke G Silverman-Lloyd, University of California San Francisco.

Silverman-Lloyd will present the team's findings during the American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions 2021 being held virtually November 13-15, 2021.

Statin medications are the foundation of LDL-C-lowering pharmacotherapy that helps reduce the risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), but SAMS may complicate drug initiation and adherence for some patients, potentially jeopardizing individual and public health outcomes.

The study authors posit mobile health (mHealth) tools as a novel approach to assessing real-time patient symptom data that can help facilitate shared decision making on next steps. In this longitudinal study they evaluated the feasibility and usability of an automated text-message-based reporting and response platform for SAMS.

For the study, the researchers enrolled 19 patients from 2 clinics in the Johns Hopkins Health System in Baltimore, MD. Patients had previously experienced muscle symptoms while taking statins. Using an online survey they recorded baseline demographics, statin indication and history, patient perceptions of SAMS and of use of technology. Daily text messages sent to study participants were used to collect quantitative SAMS scores and weekly text messages asked for qualitative data on symptoms for a period of 90 days. Select participants received monthly symptom reports via email on study days 30, 60, and 90.

Eighteen patients (aged 59.3 [SD 14.5] years; 67% women) collected data as instructed and 15 participants finished the 90-day study protocol. Silverman-Lloyd et al report in the study abstracts an overall response rate to text messages of 91.5%--92.2% for daily SAMS messages, 86.0% for weekly muscle symptom prompts.

Overall statin adherence reported was 70%. Of all participants, 9 reported intolerable muscle symptoms at least one time during the study, according to the abstract, and of all reported symptom scores, intolerable scores represented 3%.

Engagement with the symptom-tracking platform was successful, the authors conclude, with study participants interacting at a high level and reporting high acceptability for the text-message-based mHealth tool. They note the SAMS tracker "may provide a means for improving shared decision making to tailor statin therapy and improve adherence."

The abstract will be presented during the Abstract Poster Session titled Health Technology on Saturday, November 13, 2021, between 8:00 am and 5:30 pm, EST.

Reference: Silverman-Lloyd LG, Sathiyakumar V, Huynh P, Chang B, Martin SS. Use of mobile health technology in the assessment of statin-associated muscle symptoms (SAMS). Abstract presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2021 held virtually November 13-15, 2021.

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