Adherence to antihypertensive drugs and its determinants in an urban setting
Background and objective: Adherence to antihypertensive drugs is very important for controlling blood pressure and preventing its complications. This study aimed to assess the adherence level to antihypertensive drugs in adult hypertensive patients in Erbil city and examine its association with socio-demographic characteristics and access to medications.
Methods: A household survey was carried out in 20 quarters of Erbil city using a multi-stage sampling method. Adult patients known to have hypertension were identified. A questionnaire designed for this purpose was used to collect data about the socio-demographic and clinical characteristics, access to antihypertensive drugs, and adherence to drugs.
Results: Of 373 study participants known to have hypertension, 87.9% were taking their antihypertensive treatment regularly, 5.9% were taking the treatment irregularly, while 6.2% were not taking any treatment. Around 77% of the patients were obtaining their drugs from private pharmacies, and the rest were getting them for free from the public hospitals. A statistically significant association was found between adherence to drugs, and increasing age, duration of having hypertension, and economic status.
Conclusion: The antihypertensive drug adherence among our sample was relatively good. Access to free drugs was limited. Drug adherence was significantly associated with increasing age, increased the duration of hypertension, and economic status. Similar studies need to be conducted in rural areas for comparison purposes.
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