Unstable heart rhythm 'ups risk of death in kidney patients'

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Washington, Jan 14 (ANI): A new study has found that elderly kidney patients who have had a recent heart attack are less likely to take their medications as prescribed.

"Several types of medications have proven benefit for preventing recurrent heart attacks, yet only about half of people with heart disease take their medications correctly," said Wolfgang C. Winkelmayer at Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, CA.

"Adherence was lower in patients with more pronounced kidney dysfunction."

Pharmacy insurance claims records were used to find out the percentage of days that patients actually had their prescribed medications.

Results showed low long-term adherence rates for three major classes of heart medications.

"Since poor medication adherence increases the risk of hospitalization and death, it is important to understand the scope of the problem," Winkelmayer said.

"Future strategies to improve medication adherence and clinical outcomes will need to pay special attention to this high-risk population."

However, the results may not be applicable to a more diverse population. Also, the researchers were unable to determine why patients weren't following their prescriptions.

"For example, the medication may have been purposely discontinued by the treating physician due to unwanted side effects," said Winkelmayer.

The study is published in Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. (ANI)

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