Send to

Choose Destination
Am Heart J. 2008 Apr;155(4):772-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ahj.2007.12.011.

Medication nonadherence is associated with a broad range of adverse outcomes in patients with coronary artery disease.

Author information

Cardiology Section, Denver VA Medical Center, Denver, CO, USA.



Little is known about the effect of nonadherence among patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) on a broad spectrum of outcomes including cardiovascular mortality, cardiovascular hospitalizations, and revascularization procedures.


This was a retrospective cohort study of 15,767 patients with CAD. Medication adherence was calculated as proportion of days covered for filled prescriptions of beta-blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, and statin medications. Multivariable Cox regression assessed the association between medication nonadherence as a time-varying covariate and a broad range of outcomes, adjusting for demographics and clinical characteristics. Median follow-up was 4.1 years.


Rates of medication nonadherence were 28.8% for beta-blockers, 21.6% for ACE inhibitors, and 26.0% for statins. In unadjusted analysis, nonadherence to each class of medication was associated with higher all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. In multivariable analysis, nonadherence remained significantly associated with increased all-cause mortality risk for beta-blockers (hazard ratio [HR] 1.50, 95% CI 1.33-1.71), ACE inhibitors (HR 1.74, 95% CI 1.52-1.98), and statins (HR 1.85, 95% CI 1.63-2.09). In addition, nonadherence remained significantly associated with higher risk of cardiovascular mortality for beta-blockers (HR 1.53, 95% CI 1.16-2.01), ACE inhibitors (HR 1.66, 95% CI 1.26-2.20), and statins (HR 1.62, 95% CI 1.124-2.13). The findings of increased risk associated with nonadherence were consistent for cardiovascular hospitalization and revascularization procedures.


Nonadherence to cardioprotective medications is common in clinical practice and associated with a broad range of adverse outcomes. These findings suggest that medication nonadherence should be a target for quality improvement interventions to maximize the outcomes of patients with CAD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center