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Am J Hypertens. 2010 Feb;23(2):155-60. doi: 10.1038/ajh.2009.210. Epub 2009 Nov 19.

Relationship of blood pressure control and hospitalization risk to medication adherence among patients with hypertension in Taiwan.

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Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Medical College, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan.



Despite the efficacy of antihypertensive treatment in preventing cardiovascular complications, there are often problems with medication adherence in hypertensive patients. The objective of this study was to examine the medication adherence and its association with blood pressure (BP) control, cardiovascular disease (CVD) hospitalization, and all-cause hospitalization.


We conducted a retrospective cohort observation of patients who were treated for hypertension from January 2005 to December 2006. Medical and pharmacy claims were obtained from Taiwan's National Health Insurance (NHI) database, whereas electronic records, including demographic characteristics and clinical information, were retrieved from a disease management program. To determine the degree of medication adherence, we calculated the proportion of days covered (PDC) by filled prescriptions. The associations of medication adherence with BP control, CVD hospitalization, and all-cause hospitalization were examined using multiple logistic regression models.


The study subjects comprised a total of 29,685 hypertensive patients. Of which, 40.1% of the patients had hypertension history of >5 years and 39.7% of patients had some comorbidity. In total, 85.5% of patients were categorized as adherent, with PDC >or=80; 60% of adherent patients had good BP control. Poor medication adherence was associated with poor BP control (odds ratio (OR) = 1.20, 1.13-1.29), CVD hospitalization (OR = 1.43, 1.14-1.81), and all-cause hospitalization (OR = 1.47, 1.21-1.78).


Our observation study clearly indicates that lower medication adherence is associated with poor BP control and higher risk of CVD and all-cause hospitalization in hypertensive patients.

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