Antiplatelets and statins are efficacious for preventing future cardiovascular events in patients with coronary heart disease. Disparity in cardiovascular outcomes exists by race/ethnicity and gender; however, few studies have explored potential disparities in long-term antiplatelet and statin use by race/ethnicity and gender. We conducted a repeated cross-sectional analysis using the nationally representative Medical Expenditure Panel Survey from 2003 to 2012. The sample consisted of 14,334 men and women >29 years with coronary heart disease. We identified antiplatelet and statin use, medical conditions, and sociodemographic characteristics. Rates of use did not change for statins or the combination of statins and antiplatelets from 2003 to 2012 but decreased for antiplatelets (p = 0.015). Of the total sample, 70.9% (95% confidence interval [CI] 69.7 to 72.1) reported use of antiplatelets, 52.5% (95% CI 51.1 to 53.8) reported statin use, and 43.1% (95% CI 41.8 to 44.4) reported the combination. Use of antiplatelets and statins were associated with one another (odds ratio 3.22; 95% CI 2.87 to 3.62). From 2009 to 2012, black and Hispanic men along with all race/ethnicities of women were less likely to report use of statins, antiplatelets, and the combination of the 2 compared with white men, even after controlling for sociodemographics. Changing the definition of a medication use, inclusion of cardiovascular risk factors, or the inclusion of warfarin in the antiplatelet category did not substantially change the results. Future practice and policy goals should focus on increasing the number of high-risk patients on appropriate preventative medications while focusing particular attention on decreasing the identified disparity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1507-1512
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015


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