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Cardiac patients given longer prescriptions at discharge more likely to continue taking medication
Date:6/28/2013

Elderly cardiac patients prescribed heart medications for 60 days or more after leaving hospital have four times the odds of adhering to the drug regime than patients prescribed the same medications for 30 days, according to research conducted at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) and Women's College Hospital (WCH).

The study, published today in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology, found longer initial prescriptions when leaving hospital are associated with long-term adherence in elderly patients. The findings suggest prescriptions covering a longer interval of time are both more patient-centered and more effective.

"Studies show that adherence to cardiac medications after a cardiac event like a heart attack declines over time. But we know that taking these medications for the long-term is absolutely essential for preventing further cardiac events," said Dr. Noah Ivers, lead author of the study and family physician at Women's College Hospital. "This study shows that longer prescriptions for cardiac patients after leaving hospital increase the likelihood that patients will take the medications for the long term, which may reduce their risk of heart attacks, stroke or even death."

In the study, researchers investigated medication adherence of more than 20,000 elderly patients with coronary artery disease to three common classes of cardiac medications ACE inhibitors, beta blockers and statins. For an 18-month period, the researchers compared the results of those prescribed the medications for less than 30 days, for 30-60 days and for 60 days or more. They found:

  • Patients prescribed the medication for 60 days or more were more likely to adhere to the medication in the long term than those prescribed the medication for 30 days or less
  • Older patients were less likely to adhere to medications.
  • Male patients were more likely to continue to take some medications but not others.
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Contact: Julie Saccone
julie.saccone@wchospital.ca
416-323-6400 x4054
Women's College Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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