New research has identified a significant association between medication non-adherence and all-cause hospitalisation and mortality in people aged over 50 years, leading the study’s authors to suggest that medication adherence should be monitored in this group.
Researchers in Ireland analysed evidence relating to medication non-adherence and its association with health outcomes in people aged at least 50 years. Sixty-six studies were identified for qualitative synthesis, with 11 of these studies eligible for meta-analyses.
The study found medication non-adherence had a significantly negative association with a range of important health outcomes in older people. A meta-analysis including three studies measuring medication non-adherence in 75,943 adults aged at least 55 years showed a significant association with all-cause hospitalisation (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 1.17; 95% CI 1.12-1.21; P≤.001). Good adherence was associated with a 21 per cent reduction in long-term mortality risk compared with medication non-adherence (adjusted HR 0.79; 95% CI 0.63-0.98; P=.03).
The authors said, given the findings, "medication adherence should be monitored and addressed in this cohort to help minimise hospitalisation, improve clinical outcomes and reduce healthcare costs."
The research is published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.