New Study Reveals Connection Between Mental Health And Antihypertension Medical Adherence
American Journal of Health Behavior used California Health Survey data to reveal a number of adherence predictors and nonadherence predictors in patients with high blood pressure
New Haven, CT - March 31, 2009 - Elevated blood pressure can lead to heart attacks, strokes, heart failure, and renal failure. All in all, 50,000 Americans die as a result of hypertension each year. Yet between 25% and 50% of treated hypertension patients don't take their prescriptions as directed. What factors could cause such a large percentage of patients to stray from their doctors' orders even when their life is at risk?
Using data collected from the 2003 California Health Interview Survey, researchers have pinpointed a number of adherence and nonadherence predictors in relation to high blood pressure patients, with a special focus on the effects of mental health and binge drinking. Their findings appeared in the article, "Mental Health, Binge Drinking, and Antihypertension Medication Adherence," which was published in Volume 33 of the American Journal of Health Behavior.
The data analysis revealed that poor mental health days were accurate predictors of medical nonadherence, whereas binge drinking was not a predictor of medical nonadherence. Other factors that predicted medical nonadherence were younger age, Latino ethnicity, lack of United States citizenship, lack of medical insurance, less education, or lack of regular medical care. Factors that predicted medical adherence included older age, African American ethnicity, health insurance, a college education, poor health, comorbid diabetes or heart disease, and being overweight.
"The reasons behind medical nonadherence are littered with an amalgam of patient-specific factors that all too often make treating this 'disease' an exercise of futility," said Kevin Aniskovich, Chief Executive of the healthcare communications company Intelecare, which specializes in medical reminder solutions. "Today's report not only underscores the rampant effect of non-compliance, but further complicates the solutions proposed to cure this issue as it relates to those suffering from poor mental health."
The most shocking results of the study find a strong link between reduced mental health and nonadherence, with analysis showing the risk of nonadherence is 27% higher when patients are depressed. Researchers concluded that improvements in detecting and treating mental health issues in high blood pressure patients could improve adherence rates in the future.
"Forgetfulness, economics and insurance are widely acknowledged as culprits, but now mental health patients - who all too often face their disease alone for fear of ridicule and judgment from others - must add yet another silent weight to their already filled shoulders," Aniskovich continued.
In its effort to provide resources that work the way people live, in May, Intelecare will unveil its latest weapon to assist individuals in their fight to control their disease and lead healthier lives with its newly re-launched education and information system, IntelePulse. Aimed to deliver patient-relevant information based on the information contained in members' profiles and preferences, IntelePulse is not a cookie-cutter newsletter series. Beginning this summer, members will be able to access this information on-demand via their mobile phones simply by texting one of hundreds of keywords.
To learn more about Intelecare for patients, caregivers and businesses, please visit: http://www.intelecare.com
Established in 2005, Intelecare Compliance Solutions is a privately owned healthcare information technology company that provides an array of practical tools and services promoting medical adherence. With 84 percent of patients reporting forgetfulness as the major cause of non-compliance, and with the healthcare system suffering over $300 billion in costs annually due to non-compliance, Intelecare's solutions enable patients and caregivers alike to keep track of medications, doses, and doctor's appointments through the phone, mobile devices, and email - all while keeping simplicity, practicality, and innovation at the heart of its developments.
Aside from individual end-user services, Intelecare provides and manages a suite of scalable services for insurers, employers, retail pharmacies, non-profit organizations and pharmaceutical manufacturers. Currently supporting millions of subscribers, Intelecare is dedicated to finding functional solutions to the widespread issue of medical non-compliance for individuals around the world that work the way people live.
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