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Nonadherence to Antihypertensive Therapy Linked to Stroke Risk — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
July 17, 2013

Nonadherence to Antihypertensive Therapy Linked to Stroke Risk

By Kelly Young

Patients with hypertension who don't regularly take their medications are at increased risk for stroke, according to a European Heart Journal study.

Using Finnish registries, researchers studied nearly 27,000 hypertensive people who had a stroke and nearly 47,000 hypertensive controls who were stroke-free. Patients were considered to be annually adherent to their medications if they bought antihypertensive drugs at least three times in the year, with the first and last purchases at least 180 days apart.

After 10 years' treatment, patients who were nonadherent were at increased risk for stroke hospitalization (adjusted odds ratio, 1.71) and stroke-related death (OR, 3.01), compared with adherent patients. Short-term risks were even higher, with odds ratios of 2.74 and 3.81, respectively, after 2 years.

The authors conclude: "These results emphasize the importance of hypertensive patients remaining adherent to antihypertensive therapy in order to minimize such serious complications as fatal and non-fatal stroke events."

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