Mary Thomson, MD: Increasing Statin Use for NAFLD Patients

July 14, 2021
Kenny Walter

Kenny Walter is an editor with HCPLive. Prior to joining MJH Life Sciences in 2019, he worked as a digital reporter covering nanotechnology, life sciences, material science and more with R&D Magazine. He graduated with a degree in journalism from Temple University in 2008 and began his career as a local reporter for a chain of weekly newspapers based on the Jersey shore. When not working, he enjoys going to the beach and enjoying the shore in the summer and watching North Carolina Tar Heel basketball in the winter.

More than 56% of these patients enrolled in TARGET-NASH were being treated with statins.

A big takeaway from the ongoing TARGET-NASH study is that statins are underutilized in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and at least 1 indication for guideline-recommended use.

A recent analysis showed just over 56% of these patients enrolled in the study were being treated with statins, despite a higher risk for cardiovascular disease.

While effective in reducing the risk of heart disease, statins are often under prescribed for patients with liver damage because of concerns over the potential for further damage.

However, in an interview with HCPLive®, Mary Thomson, MD, MSC, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, University of Minnesota Medical School, explained how statins could actually be beneficial for this select patient population.

TARGET-NASH is an observational study of participants with NAFLD and/or non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) in usual clinical practice and is part of a series of Target studies targeted several diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease and asthma.

All of the patients have been diagnosed with NASH, either by their physician or by a biopsy.

Thomson also explained how the COVID-19 pandemic may have impacted some of these results and could result in many patients across different diseases being under prescribed their appropriate medications.