In a new study, researchers found that more than half of people under 65 who have high blood pressure skip or stop taking their high blood pressure medicines.
The research was conducted by a team from Temple University in Philadelphia.
High blood pressure can lead to damage to the vascular system and is a big risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
Medication plays an important role in managing high blood pressure, and stopping the treatment can prove dangerous, even for relatively young patients.
In the study, the team examined the rate of prescription refills for blood pressure medications issued to more than 370,000 patients younger than 65.
They found that about 24% of the patients stopped taking the drugs within the first nine months.
In the people who kept using the medications, 40% had “low adherence”, which means taking the prescribed amount less than 80% of the time.
Overall, about 54% of the patients either did not take their blood pressure medications as prescribed or stopped using them.
So why do young patients forgo medications that might help extend their lives?
The researchers explain that it’s because high blood pressure is a “silent” killer.
There are no strong symptoms and many patients don’t feel better when they take your blood pressure medication. Sometimes they may even feel worse.
This could make them think the treatment is more harmful than high blood pressure.
The team warns that younger patients have to manage their blood pressure for the rest of their lives to avoid chronic disease.
Doctor-patient communication is key to helping these people stay on their prescribed meds.
The lead author of the study is Gabriel Tajeu, an assistant professor of health services administration and policy at Temple University.
The study is published in the journal Hypertension.
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