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Proportion and risk indicators of nonadherence to antihypertensive therapy: a meta-analysis

Authors Lemstra M, Alsabbagh MW

Received 4 October 2013

Accepted for publication 27 November 2013

Published 13 February 2014 Volume 2014:8 Pages 211—218


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Mark Lemstra, M Wasem Alsabbagh

Academic Family Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada

Purpose: The World Health Organization (WHO) concluded that poor adherence to treatment is the most important cause of uncontrolled high blood pressure, with approximately 75% of patients not achieving optimum blood pressure control. The WHO estimates that between 20% and 80% of patients receiving treatment for hypertension are adherent. As such, the first objective of our study was to quantify the proportion of nonadherence to antihypertensive therapy in real-world observational study settings. The second objective was to provide estimates of independent risk indicators associated with nonadherence to antihypertensive therapy.
Materials and methods: We performed a systematic literature review and meta-analysis of all studies published between database inception and December 31, 2011 that reviewed adherence, and risk indicators associated with nonadherence, to antihypertensive medications.
Results: In the end, 26 studies met our inclusion and exclusion criteria and passed our methodological quality evaluation. Of the 26 studies, 48.5% (95% confidence interval 47.7%–49.2%) of patients were adherent to antihypertensive medications at 1 year of follow-up. The associations between 114 variables and nonadherence to antihypertensive medications were reviewed. After meta-analysis, nine variables were associated with nonadherence to antihypertensive medications: diuretics in comparison to angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) and calcium channel blockers (CCBs), ACE inhibitors in comparison to ARBs, CCBs in comparison to ARBs, those with depression or using antidepressants, not having diabetes, lower income status, and minority cultural status.
Conclusion: This study clarifies the extent of adherence along with determining nine independent risk indicators associated with nonadherence to antihypertensive medications.

Keywords: meta-analysis, antihypertensives, adherence

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