Among the reasons patients kept taking their medications were suffering from other serious health problems, having health insurance, having fewer medications and understanding why they were taking them, Bushnell's group noted.
"This is something we have known, that long-term compliance is a problem and unless you target it, people sort of fall off the curve," said Dr. Steven R. Levine, vice chair of neurology at State University of New York, Brooklyn, and chief of neurology at University Hospital Brooklyn.
What is needed is more patient education and follow-up programs for stroke patients, he said. "Physicians can put patients in behavioral modification programs, get them to see physician assistance, nurse practitioners, nutritionists, to work on their risk factors," he said.
Patients need more education and better stroke support systems, Levine added.
"There are very few stroke prevention centers, despite stroke being the number one killer and disabler," Levine said.
In the second report, published in the Aug. 9/23 online edition of the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine found that doctors are not prescribing two medications known to be effective in managing heart failure as much as they once did.
"We expect that, over time, recommended therapies for conditions such as heart failure will continue to increase," Dr. Dipanjan Banerjee, a clinical instructor in cardiovascular medicine said. Banerjee, along with Dr. Randall Stafford, an associate professor of medicine, conducted the study.
However, they found while the use of medications such as ACE inhibitors and beta blockers was increasing, the increase was not to the level where it should be, Banerjee added.
"What is concerning to us, when we took another look at the data, [was] we saw there was a plateau and, in some cases, a decrease in the use of these medications," he said.'/>"/>
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