Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cardiac patients given longer prescriptions at discharge more likely to continue taking medication

Date:
June 28, 2013
Source:
Women's College Hospital
Summary:
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 researchers.

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 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.
  • Up to 50 per cent of prescriptions covered only 7 days.
  • More than 80 per cent of patients had a follow-up appointment within one month, regardless of prescription length.

"The majority of patients in our study left hospital with a prescription for cardiac medications for 30 days or less," said Dr. Ivers. "This may be a result of the common clinical perception that short prescriptions encourage patients to go to their followup appointments, yet our study found regardless of the duration of the prescription, nearly all patients did, in fact, attend their followup appointment."

Short prescriptions may inadvertently suggest to patients and family physicians alike that long-term adherence isn't necessary, the authors suggest.

"When we reduce the requirement for early refills, patients still follow up with their family physician or cardiologist and they are more likely to remain on the medications as well, Dr. Ivers said. "We certainly want to encourage early outpatient follow up after hospitalization, but holding medications ransom may not be the best way to do it."

Modifying the length of a prescription is an easy fix, Dr. Ivers adds.

"Forcing elderly patients to frequently visit their cardiologist or family physician to renew prescriptions is only exacerbating the problem," he said. "While dosage adjustments are sometimes required, increasing the duration of a prescription for cardiac patients can easily be done, leading to significant benefits for patients."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Women's College Hospital. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Women's College Hospital. "Cardiac patients given longer prescriptions at discharge more likely to continue taking medication." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 June 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130628144536.htm>.
Women's College Hospital. (2013, June 28). Cardiac patients given longer prescriptions at discharge more likely to continue taking medication. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130628144536.htm
Women's College Hospital. "Cardiac patients given longer prescriptions at discharge more likely to continue taking medication." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130628144536.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Aimed at reducing sexual assaults on college campuses, California has adopted a new law changing the standard of consent for sexual activity. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Researchers looked at 1,500 blood samples and determined people who developed pancreatic cancer had more branched chain amino acids. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins