ISLAMABAD: Hypertension patients who do not take their blood pressure medications systematically have a greatly increased risk of suffering a stroke and dying from it compared to those who take their medication correctly, a new study has shown.
A study of 73,527 patients with high blood pressure, published in the European Heart Journal, found that patients who did not adhere to their medication had a nearly four-fold increased risk of dying from stroke in the second year after first being prescribed drugs to control their blood pressure, and a three-fold increased risk in the tenth year, compared with adherent patients, Science Daily reported.
The first author of the study, Dr Kimmo Herttua, a senior fellow in the Population Research Unit at the University of Helsinki, Finland, said “These results emphasize the importance of hypertensive patients taking their ant-hypertensive medications correctly in order to minimize their risk of serious complications such as fatal and non-fatal strokes.”
“Non-adherent patients have a greater risk even 10 years before they suffer a stroke. We have also found that there is a dose-response relationship. The worse someone is at taking their anti-hypertensive therapy, the greater their risk,” Herttua added.
The researchers say that the great strength of this study is its size, linked to excellent registries of relevant data. Possible limitations include that fact that they could not be sure that patients were actually taking their drugs, even though they had collected their prescriptions, and the registries did not give them information on body mass index, smoking, alcohol consumption and resting blood pressure.