Medication adherence and the patient with coronary artery disease: Challenges for the practitioner

Thomas M. Maddox, P. Michael Ho

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Adherence to secondary prevention medications among patients with coronary artery disease is essential in minimizing risks of recurrent myocardial infarction and mortality. Despite its importance, nonadherence remains a significant problem among this population, and a variety of studies have sought to determine its prevalence, contributing factors, and interventions for improvement. RECENT FINDINGS: Several recent studies have demonstrated improving rates of adherence over time, though the overall prevalence of nonadherence remains significant. Other studies have identified important factors associated with nonadherence, and two recent trials tested interventions to improve adherence rates. SUMMARY: Although there have been some improvements in adherence rates, it remains a significant issue. Nonadherence increases both general and cardiac-specific adverse events. Several important factors such as patient attitudes, external influences, concurrent comorbidities, and health system characteristics appear to significantly impact adherence rates. Recent trials to improve adherence rates have demonstrated only modest effects, but lessons from these initial interventions should be incorporated into future strategies to improve adherence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)468-472
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Opinion in Cardiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2009


  • Adherence
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Secondary prevention


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