40% of patients with heart problems take drugs incorrectly, according to a major study.
The study, just published in the European Heart Journal, was led by Gates Cambridge Scholar Dr Rajiv Chowdhury  and Gates Cambridge Alumnus Dr Hassan Khan .
Based on worldwide participant data from ~2 Million individuals, the study showed that 40% of people do not adhere adequately to cardiovascular medications and that this applies to all individual drug classes. The research also shows that a considerable proportion of all cardiovascular events (around 9% in Europe) can be attributed to poor adherence to vascular medications alone and that taking the drugs as prescribed significantly prevents adverse outcomes.
The researchers say measures to enhance adherence are urgently required so that patients get the maximum benefit from their medication.
The study was done in collaboration with the researchers from World Health Organisation and Erasmus University in the Netherlands.
The authors say several factors may contribute to the low levels of good adherence to cardiovascular medications observed among the participants of the studies that they reviewed. These include low social status, low health literacy, the existence of other chronic conditions and the use of other drugs.
Image: Jomphong from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net.