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Korean J Fam Med. 2018 Nov;39(6):325-332. doi: 10.4082/kjfm.17.0041. Epub 2018 Nov 2.

Factors Affecting Adherence to Antihypertensive Medication.

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Department of Family Medicine, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Family Medicine, Veterans Health Service Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Family Medicine, Dankook University College of Medicine, Cheonan, Korea.
Department of Family Medicine, Keimyung University Dongsan Hospital, Keimyung University College of Medicine, Daegu, Korea.
Department of Family Medicine, Ulsan University Hospital, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Ulsan, Korea.
Departments of Family Medicine, Pusan National University Yangsan Hospital, Yangsan, Korea.
Department of Medical Education, Pusan National University School of Medicine, Yangsan, Korea.



Hypertension is a major contributor to the global disease burden of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease. The aim of this study was to determine demographic and clinical factors associated with adherence to antihypertensive medication.


From August 2012 to February 2015, we recruited 1,523 Korean patients with hypertension who visited family physicians. The study was conducted in 24 facilities located in urban and metropolitan areas. Of these facilities, two were primary care clinics and 22 were level 2 or 3 hospitals. Adherence was assessed using the pill count method; a cut-off value of 80% was used as the criterion for good adherence. Sociodemographic and lifestyle factors were compared between the adherent and nonadherent groups using the chi-square test for categorical variables and t-test for continuous variables. Binary logistic regression analysis was performed with medication adherence as the outcome variable.


Of the 1,523 patients, 1,245 (81.7%) showed good adherence to antihypertensive medication. In the multivariate logistic analysis, age ≥65 years, exercise, treatment in a metropolitan-located hospital, being on ≥2 classes of antihypertensive medication and concomitant medication for diabetes, and a family history of hypertension or cardiovascular diseases were associated with good adherence. Patients who had a habit of high salt intake were less adherent to medication.


Multiple classes of antihypertensive medications, concomitant medication, and exercise were associated with good adherence to antihypertensive medication, and high salt intake was associated with poor adherence to antihypertensive medication. These factors should be considered to improve hypertension control.


Adherence; Associated Factors; Hypertension; Patient Compliance

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