Journal watch: Medication adherence and coronary heart disease outcomes

The impact of medication adherence on clinical outcomes of coronary artery disease: A meta-analysis

This study by Du et al (Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes– Jan 2017) evaluated the impact of medication adherence on clinical outcomes in patients with stable coronary artery disease. The authors performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to pool together the results of 10 studies (106,002 patients) examining whether the risk of mortality and cardiovascular events differed between groups with good medication adherence and poor medication adherence.

The results showed that compared to poor medication adherence, good adherence to evidence-based medications, such as beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, antiplatelet drugs, and statins, was related to a lower risk of death from all causes (44% relative risk reduction), death from cardiovascular causes (34% relative risk reduction) and cardiovascular hospitalization/myocardial infarction (relative risk reduction 39%).

In conclusion, the study demonstrated that good medication adherence was associated with better clinical outcomes compared with poor medication adherence for the secondary prevention of stable coronary artery disease. Implementation of strategies to improve medication adherence is therefore vital.

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