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Study: Many Heart Patients Stop Taking Medication

Study: Many Heart Patients Stop Taking Medication

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Dr. Kim Mulvihill ReportingMany patients stop taking their medicine far sooner than they should, and that decision can be deadly when the drugs treat heart disease or diabetes.

We've talked about how important it is to finish a course of antibiotics in order to lower the chances of developing drug-resistant bacteria. Well this study highlights another reason to take your medications --- to keep you well.

Researchers tracked more than 1500 people who had suffered a heart attack and found it took only one month after leaving the hospital for one out of eight to stop their medications, life saving drugs including aspirin, beta blockers and statins.

As reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine, cardiac patients who stopped these drugs were three times more likely to die during the next year than patients who stayed on their medications. While the study did not examine the reasons why people stopped taking their medicine, the patients who quit were more likely to be older, single and less educated.

These patients aren't alone. Former president Bill Clinton was started on a statin for high cholesterol when he left office, but he stopped taking it at some point. At age 58 he underwent quadruple bypass for severely clogged arteries.

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