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Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2010 Oct;88(4):548-54. doi: 10.1038/clpt.2010.139. Epub 2010 Sep 8.

Temporal trends in adherence to cardiovascular medications in elderly patients after hospitalization for heart failure.

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Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


Although the complexity of treatment regimens for patients with heart failure (HF) has increased over time because of the increased availability of efficacious medications, little is known about temporal trends in adherence to treatment regimens in these patients. We assessed trends in adherence to angiotensin-system blockers (ABs), β-blockers (BBs), and spironolactone (SL) for HF in Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in two statewide pharmacy benefit programs from 1995 to 2004. The proportion of days covered (PDC) (%) was assessed after the first dispensing among users of an AB, BB, or SL. Proportions of full adherence (PDC >80%) did not change over time for ABs (54% in both 1996 and 2003) but increased slightly for BBs (from 47% in 1996 to 57% in 2003) and SL (from 31% in 1996 to 42% in 2003). Black race and dialysis treatment predicted poor adherence to any medications. Adherence to BBs and SL increased modestly over time, but overall nonadherence remained high.

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