The results of a multi-institution study show that combined data from electronic health records and linked biobanks may better pinpoint the efficacy of two commonly prescribed statins.

Researchers extracted information from EHRs to construct dose-response curves that define potency (the mean effective dose) and lipid-lowering efficacy for simvastatin and atorvastatin. They tested the association of potency and efficacy with 144 selected genetic variants that have an association with statin response. Two large biobanks were used to construct dose-response curves for 2,026 and 2,252 subjects on simvastatin and atorvastatin, respectively.

The results, reported in the March issue of Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics, revealed that atorvastatin was more potent, more efficacious and demonstrated less interindividual variability than simvastatin.

"The extraction of rigorously defined traits from EHRs for pharmacogenetic studies represents a promising approach to further understand the genetic factors contributing to drug response," according to the article.

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