Former smokers or obese and overweight people are more likely to stick to statin therapy, a new study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal reveals.
Almost 1 in 10 cardiovascular events can be linked to nonadherence to prescribed medication. Studies indicate that nonadherence with statin therapy can be as high as 46%.
To determine whether lifestyle influences statin adherence, researchers looked at data on 11 949 people involved in the Finnish Public Sector Study who had started statin therapy after the survey, between 1998 and 2010. Of these, 928 responded to a survey about health status and lifestyle factors. Nonadherence to statin medication was more common in women, younger people (24 to 50 years old) and single people. People who did not have cardiovascular disease, obesity, overweight or a history of smoking — that is, people in decent health — were less likely to take statins as directed.
People with cardiovascular comorbidities, heavy drinkers and extreme drinkers (people who passed out from alcohol consumption) were substantially more likely to be nonadherent than nondrinkers.
"Heavy drinkers may intentionally avoid taking mediation because of potential drug-alcohol interactions, they may unintentionally miss doses or even refills because of intoxication, or they may simply be less concerned about missing doses," write the authors.
The finding that people with weight issues and a history of smoking are more likely to follow the recommended therapy can provide valuable insights about how people will take preventive medications.