By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS
ARLINGTON, Virginia — People who trust the medical profession are more likely to take their high blood pressure medicine, new data suggest.
In a study presented Monday at the American Heart Association’s Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Scientific Sessions 2017, patients who had higher levels of trust took their blood pressure medicine 93 percent of the time versus 82 percent of the time for those who had lower levels of trust.
Having trust in the medical profession was also linked to greater ability to adapt to difficult life circumstances and better health-related quality of life.
The findings in the University of California at Los Angeles study were based on 101 Hispanics and 100 non-Hispanics being treated for high blood pressure. Blood pressure control was similar between the two groups: 68 percent of Hispanics and 72 percent of non-Hispanics.
Researchers found that trust had an equally protective effect on the health of both groups regardless of race or ethnic origin.
“Because adherence to blood pressure-lowering medication is a challenge for many people, identifying and understanding how to overcome obstacles that prevent patients from following prescribed treatments may help lower their risk for the serious health consequences of poorly controlled hypertension including stroke and heart attack, and, in turn, may lead to improved health outcomes,” said Lilia Meltzer, Ph.D., a nurse practitioner at UCLA.
Low adherence to recommended treatments “has long been a main reason for poor hypertension control in the United States regardless of race or ethnic origin,” Meltzer said. “Thirty-four percent of adults 20 years or older have high blood pressure and 90 percent of those with uncontrolled hypertension have a medical provider and health insurance.”