FRIDAY, Jan. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Among older adults who've
recently had a heart attack, those with kidney dysfunction are less
likely to take medications meant to prevent another heart attack, a
new study has found.
Stanford University and Harvard Medical School researchers and
colleagues analyzed the pharmacy insurance claims of 2,103 patients
aged 65 and older who recently had a heart attack and were
prescribed three major classes of heart medications: statins,
beta-blockers and angiotensin-converting enzyme
inhibitors/angiotensin-receptor blockers (ACEIs/ARBs).
Over three years, the patients took their prescribed heart drugs
only 50 to 60 percent of the time. Adherence to ACEIs/ARBs and
beta-blocker regimens was significantly lower among patients who
had lower levels of kidney function at the start of the study.
There was no significant association between kidney function and
adherence to statin drugs, the investigators found.
The study is scheduled for publication in an upcoming issue of
Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.
"Since poor medication adherence increases the risk of hospitalization and death, it is important to understand the scope of the problem," study author Dr. Wolfgang C. Winkelmayer, of the Stanford University School of Medicine, said in a journal news release.
"Future strategies to improve medication adherence and clinical outcomes will need to pay special attention to this high-risk population," he added.
The American Academy of Family Physicians outlines the process
recovering from a heart attack.