Nonadherence to Statins and Antihypertensives and Hospitalizations Among Elderly Medicare Beneficiaries With Incident Cancer

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Background—Incident cancer diagnosis may increase the risk of coronary artery disease (CAD)–related hospitalizations, especially in older individuals. Adherence to statins and/or angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs)/angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs)/βblockers reduces CAD-related hospitalizations. This study examined the relationship between medication adherence and CAD-related hospitalizations immediately following cancer diagnosis. Patients and Methods—A retrospective observational longitudinal study was conducted using SEER-Medicare data. Elderly Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries with preexisting CAD and incident breast, colorectal, or prostate cancer (N=12,096) were observed for 12 months before and after cancer diagnosis. Hospitalizations measured every 120 days were categorized into CADrelated hospitalization, other hospitalization, and no hospitalization. Medication adherence was categorized into 5 mutually exclusive groups: adherent to both statins and ACEIs/ARBs/βblockers (reference group), not adherent to both statins and ACEIs/ARBs/β-blockers, adherent to either statins or ACEIs/ARBs/β-blockers, use of one medication class and adherent to that class, and use of one medication class and not adherent to that class. The relationship between medication adherence and hospitalization was analyzed using repeated measures multinomial logistic regressions. Inverse probability treatment weights were used to control for observed group differences among medication adherence categories. Results—Adherence to both statins and ACEIs/ARBs/β-blockers was estimated at 31.2% during the 120-day period immediately following cancer diagnosis; 13.7% were not adherent to both medication classes during the same period, and 27.4% had CAD-related hospitalizations immediately after cancer diagnosis, which declined to 10.6% during the last 4 months of the postdiagnosis period. In the adjusted analyses, those not adherent to both statins and ACEIs/ARBs/ β-blockers were more likely to have CAD-related hospitalization compared with those adherent to both medication classes (adjusted odds ratio, 1.82; 95% CI, 1.72–1.92; P<.0001). Conclusions—Given the complexity of interaction between CAD and cancer, it is important to routinely monitor medication adherence in general clinical practice and to provide linkages to support services that can increase medication adherence.