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Pharmacotherapy. 2003 Mar;23(3):326-32.

Association between adherence to diuretic therapy and health care utilization in patients with heart failure.

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  • 1Midwestern University College of Pharmacy-Glendale, Glendale, Arizona, USA.

Abstract

STUDY OBJECTIVE:

To determine the relationship between adherence to diuretic therapy and health care utilization.

DESIGN:

Prospective, observational study.

SETTING:

University-affiliated medical center.

PATIENTS:

Forty-two patients with heart failure.

INTERVENTION:

Electronic monitoring of adherence to diuretic therapy (percentage of diuretic prescription container openings) and to scheduling (percentage of container openings within a specific time).

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS:

All patients were prescribed a diuretic, most commonly furosemide (88%). Patients varied widely in adherence to therapy (mu = 72% +/- 30%) and to scheduling (mu = 43% +/- 30%). Education was a predictor of drug-taking adherence (p=0.0062) but not of scheduling adherence. Log-linear models revealed that poor scheduling adherence was associated with increased cardiovascular-related hospitalizations (chi2 11.63, p=0.0006) and predicted more heart failure-related hospitalizations (chi2 4.04, p=0.0444). In contrast, neither measure was significantly associated with cardiovascular- or heart failure-related emergency department visits. We found a moderate correlation between scheduling adherence and taking adherence (r = 0.6513).

CONCLUSION:

Patients taking a greater proportion of diuretic agents on schedule may decrease the risk of cardiovascular- and heart failure-related hospitalizations. If these findings are confirmed by a larger study, interventions to improve adherence and patient health outcomes should consider the timing of doses as well as the number of daily doses of a diuretic.

PMID:
12627931
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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