Where you live may affect your heart failure drug adherence

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A recent study led by NYU Grossman School of Medicine has revealed a link between socioeconomic status and adherence to heart-failure medications.

The research explored prescription pickup patterns among patients with systolic heart failure, a condition with a high risk of mortality.

Quadruple therapy, a combination of four drugs, can reduce the risk of death by 400% in patients with this condition. However, between 40% and 50% of patients do not consistently pick up their prescribed medications.

Impact of Socioeconomic Status

Analyzing electronic health records and pharmacy data from over 6,000 adults with heart failure, the study found that patients in neighborhoods with lower socioeconomic status were less likely to fill their heart-failure prescriptions.

Specifically, 52% of patients in the lowest socioeconomic quarter did not fill their medications, while 40% in the highest socioeconomic quarter did not. This disparity in medication adherence can increase the risk of death.

Neighborhood Socioeconomic Status Matters

The study highlights the importance of considering neighborhood socioeconomic status when developing interventions to improve medication adherence for individuals with heart failure.

Socioeconomic status encompasses factors like income, education, and property values, and it has a significant impact on prescription adherence.

While previous research has linked socioeconomic status to filling prescriptions for various health conditions, its direct impact on heart-failure medication adherence was not clear until this study.

Potential Barriers

The research team will further investigate the factors responsible for the medication adherence gap, including the cost of drugs, language barriers, discrimination by pharmacy staff, out-of-pocket medication expenses, differences in insurance coverage, and varying pharmacy hours.

Identifying individual patients at the highest risk of non-adherence will also be a focus of future research.

This study sheds light on the complex relationship between socioeconomic factors and medication adherence in heart-failure patients, emphasizing the need for tailored interventions to improve access to lifesaving medications.

If you care about heart health, please read studies about Scientists find root cause of heart rhythm disorders and findings of Warning signal from the kidneys can predict future heart failure risk.

For more information about heart health, please see recent studies that exercise in middle age reversed worrisome heart failure, and results showing this drug combo can cut risk of stroke and heart attack by half.

The research findings can be found in JAMA Network Open.

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