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Int J Hypertens. 2013;2013:358562. doi: 10.1155/2013/358562. Epub 2013 Feb 3.

Effects of emotional response on adherence to antihypertensive medication and blood pressure improvement.

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Denver Health Medical Center, Denver, CO, USA ; Department of Family Medicine, University of Colorado and Level One Physicians, Denver Health, MC 1914, 301 West 6th Avenue, Denver, CO 80204, USA.


Background. Developing interventions to improve medication adherence may depend upon discovery of novel behavioral risk factors for nonadherence. Objective. Explore the effects of emotional response (ER) on adherence to antihypertensive medication and on systolic blood pressure (SBP) improvement. Design. We studied 101 adults with diabetes and hypertension. The primary outcome, 90-day "percentage of days covered" adherence score, was determined from pharmacy refill records. The secondary outcome was change in SBP over 90 days. ER was classified as positive, negative, or neutral. Results. Average adherence was 71.6% (SD 31.4%), and negative and positive ER were endorsed by 25% and 9% of subjects, respectively. Gender moderated the effect of positive or negative versus neutral ER on adherence (interaction P = 0.003); regardless of gender, negative and positive ER were associated with similarly high and low adherence, respectively, but males endorsing neutral ER had significantly higher adherence than their female counterparts (85.6% versus 57.1%, F value = 15.3, P = 0.0002). Adherence mediated ER's effect on SBP improvement: among participants with negative, but not positive or neutral, ER, increasing adherence and SBP improvement were correlated (Spearman's r = 0.49, P = 0.02). Conclusions. Negative, but not positive or neutral, ER predicted better medication adherence and a correlation between medication adherence and improvement in SBP.

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