Health Behaviors and Medication Adherence in Elderly Patients

Euna Han, Hyun Soon Sohn, Ju Yeun Lee, Sunme Jang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose. To explore the relationships of selected health behaviors to medication adherence. Design. A retrospective cohort study. Setting. Data from Korean national health insurance claims between January 2010 and June 2011. Subjects. Patients aged 65 years and older with hypertension (N = 662,170), hyperlipidemia (N = 244,702), or diabetes (N = 179,285). Measures. Medication adherence as a medication possession ratio from January to June 2011 as a dependent variable. The waist circumference (cm) and the body mass index (weight in kilogram divided by height in meter squared) as a marker for obesity. Smoking, drinking, and physical activity as main independent variables. Analysis. A multivariate logistic regression. Results. Nonobese patients, as based on the waist circumference, were more likely to adhere to their medication (by 8.9% for hypertension, 6.2% for diabetes, and 3.5% for hyperlipidemia). Current smokers were less likely to adhere to their medication (by 8.7% for hypertension and 6.8% for diabetes), and moderate and heavy drinkers were also less likely to show medication adherence for diabetes (by 12.9% and 6.4%). Mild physical activity was related to a 1.1% to 1.8% increase in the likelihood of medication adherence across the three disease groups. Conclusion. Health promotion programs for self-care health behaviors of elderly patients should emphasize good medication adherence to achieve successful self-management of diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)278-286
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Promotion
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jul 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2017.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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