Average age of initiation of statin therapy in New Zealand

21 December 2020

Dear [name and contact details withheld]


Thank you for your request dated 1 December 2020 under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA) for information relating to statin therapy. You wrote:

I’m trying to ascertain the average age of initiation of statin therapy in New Zealand.

Based on available data, we have calculated the average starting age of people who started statins between 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2020. This calculation resulted in an average starting age of 58.5 years.

Please note the below caveats apply for this calculation:

  • Data is based on people's first dispensing of a statin between 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2020
  • When determining when a person is first dispensed a statin we looked back as far as 1 January 2007 to determine that they were first seen after 2014. NHIs are not sufficiently recorded before this time so it is possible that some people may have started before 2007 and then stopped. This would mean some people who reinitiate treatment may appear to start at an older age, however this is likely to be small given the length of time passed.
  • The starting age is averaged across all people that start
  • We can only calculate ages from dispensings where a person's NHI was recorded; for statins >95% of people have an NHI recorded
  • This average age is based on 228,000 people who started a statin between 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2020

We trust that this information answers your queries. We are making our information more freely available, so we will now publish selected OIA responses (excluding personal details) on our website. Please get in touch with us if you have any questions about this.

Yours sincerely


Rachel Read
Manager, Policy and Government Services