Teamwork, closer follow-up helps heart patients take prescriptions after hospital stay

November 19, 2013

A team of doctor, patient and pharmacist plus enhanced follow-up was more effective than standard care in helping people take their heart medications more regularly after leaving the hospital, in a late-breaking clinical trial presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2013.

People who have had a or (chest pains related to inadequate blood supply to the heart) are more likely to die or return to the hospital if they don't regularly take prescribed medication to control blood pressure, prevent blood clotting, control cholesterol, and reduce the risk for worsening of their heart blockages.

According to earlier studies, within a month, a third of patients stop taking at least one drug, and within a year of discharge, 40 percent are no longer taking cholesterol-lowering medications as prescribed.

In the Multifaceted Intervention to Improve Medication Adherence and Secondary Prevention Measures (Medication Study) After Acute Coronary Syndrome Hospital Discharge study, patients discharged from four Veterans Administration (VA) hospitals after treatment for heart attack or unstable angina got standard care or enhanced follow-up. Enhanced care included:

  • Help with managing prescription medicine
  • Patient education
  • Collaborative care between pharmacists and physicians
  • Automated telephone medication refill reminder calls

In the year after hospital discharge, 89 percent of 122 enhanced-care patients refilled their prescriptions and 74 percent of 119 usual-care patients did.

There was no difference in the proportion of patients in each group who achieved or cholesterol-lowering goals.

"These results suggest that hospitals and providers should develop systems of care to improve and maintain adherence to medications shown to reduce the risk of recurrent heart attacks and death," said P. Michael Ho, M.D., Ph.D., study author and staff cardiologist at VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System in Denver.

"The adherence levels in this study for both the enhanced follow-up and standard care groups were higher than adherence levels seen in many other patient groups, so an enhanced system such as the one studied might have an even greater impact outside of the VA."

The typical intervention cost for the year was about $360 per patient.

Explore further: Medication adherence after hospitalization for acute coronary syndrome

Related Stories

Medication adherence after hospitalization for acute coronary syndrome

November 18, 2013
Patients better adhered to their medication regimens in the year following hospitalization for acute coronary syndrome (ACS) when they were part of a program that included personalized attention from a pharmacist compared ...

Program helps heart patients stick with meds after leaving hospital

November 18, 2013
(HealthDay)—People who are hospitalized for a heart attack or angina are more likely to take their medication properly once they leave the hospital if they receive personal attention from a pharmacist, new research indicates.

Texting heart medication reminders improved patient adherence

November 18, 2013
Getting reminder texts helped patients take their heart medicines (anti-platelet and cholesterol-lowering drugs) more regularly, according to research presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2013.

Staying on medication may not translate to avoiding readmission

November 18, 2013
A targeted effort to help high-risk heart failure patients stay on their medications did improve adherence to drug regimens, but had surprisingly little effect lowering hospital readmission rates, according to a study at ...

Treating high blood pressure right after stroke made no difference in recovery

November 18, 2013
Lowering high blood pressure in the very acute initial period after a stroke made no difference in patient recovery in a late-breaking clinical trial presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2013.

'Smarter' blood pressure guidelines could prevent many more heart attacks and strokes

November 4, 2013
A new way of using blood pressure-lowering medications could prevent more than a fourth of heart attacks and strokes – up to 180,000 a year – while using less medication overall, according to new research from the University ...

Recommended for you

Research suggests new pathways for hyperaldosteronism

December 7, 2017
A new study led by researchers at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP), in collaboration with researchers at Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, part of the ...

One-dose gene therapy produces clotting factor, safely stops bleeding in hemophilia B patients

December 6, 2017
A team of gene therapy researchers has reported positive results in a phase 1/2 clinical trial for the inherited bleeding disorder hemophilia B. A single intravenous infusion of a novel bioengineered gene therapy treatment ...

Clot-busting drugs not recommended for most patients with blood clots

December 6, 2017
Not all patients with blood clots in their legs - a condition known as deep vein thrombosis - need to receive powerful but risky clot-busting drugs, according to results of a large-scale, multicenter clinical trial.

Mitochondrial protein in cardiac muscle cells linked to heart failure, study finds

December 5, 2017
Reducing a protein found in the mitochondria of cardiac muscle cells initiates cardiac dysfunction and heart failure, a finding that could provide insight for new treatments for cardiovascular diseases, a study led by Georgia ...

Blood pressure declines 14 to 18 years before death

December 4, 2017
Blood pressure in the elderly gradually begins to decrease about 14 or so years before death, according to a new study published today in the JAMA Internal Medicine.

Study links common male medical condition and vascular disease

December 1, 2017
Men who suffer symptoms from varicoceles, enlarged veins in the scrotum, are more likely to develop vascular disease and metabolic disease, such as diabetes, according to a study by Stanford University School of Medicine ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.