Prevalence and Correlates of Low Medication Adherence in Apparent Treatment-Resistant Hypertension


Marguerite R. Irvin, PhD, Department of Epidemiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1665 University Blvd. RPHB Room 220P, Birmingham, AL 35294-0022


J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2012;14:694–700 ©2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Low medication adherence may explain part of the high prevalence of apparent treatment-resistant hypertension (aTRH). The authors assessed medication adherence and aTRH among 4026 participants taking ≥3 classes of antihypertensive medication in the population-based Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) trial using the 4-item Morisky Medication Adherence Scale (MMAS). Low adherence was defined as an MMAS score ≥2. Overall, 66% of participants taking ≥3 classes of antihypertensive medication had aTRH. Perfect adherence on the MMAS was reported by 67.8% and 70.9% of participants with and without aTRH, respectively. Low adherence was present among 8.1% of participants with aTRH and 5.0% of those without aTRH (P<.001). Among those with aTRH, female sex, residence outside the US stroke belt or stroke buckle, physical inactivity, elevated depressive symptoms, and a history of coronary heart disease were associated with low adherence. In the current study, a small percentage of participants with aTRH had low adherence.