Discontinuing Statins an Option for Hospice Patients


BY: Dr. Charles Wellman

CATEGORY: Medical and Clinical
PUBLICATION: Clinical Connections

Many individuals and their families cope with significant burdens imposed by serious illness in the final months of life. How to best support their quality of life is an important care consideration for Hospice of the Western Reserve. Research can play a vital role in providing answers that will guide and shape the science of palliative care for current and future generations of patients and their families. Although much research has been focused on keeping people healthy or restoring them to health, few clinical trials have been devoted to improving outcomes for individuals with life-defining illnesses.

 Hospice of the Western Reserve became a member of the Palliative Care Research Cooperative (PCRC) to address the need for more evidence-based research. Prior to becoming a partner in the study, verification was received that protocol was reviewed and approved by an accredited Institutional Research Board, and that all the procedures were in place to ensure patients, their physicians and families were fully informed of the pros and cons of participation and able to make informed decisions.

One of the Cooperative’s first studies focused on analyzing the continuation versus discontinuation of statins for hospice patients. Statins are a group of drugs that help patients lower their serum cholesterol levels. 

 Links to abstract of study and Duke University press release:




Dr. Charles V. Wellman, Chief Medical Officer, Hospice of the Western Reserve, is board certified in internal medicine and hospice and palliative medicine, and has been practicing in the field of hospice and palliative medicine for 30 years. A regionally and nationally-recognized expert in pain and symptom control, end-of-life communication, and hospice organization and management, he presents widely on these topics. Through Hospice of the Western Reserve’s Hospice Institute, which coordinates all the organization’s research professional education efforts, he has mentored and taught thousands of medical, social work, therapy and pharmacy students. 

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