Is there relation between adherence to medications and adherence to preventive medicine?

Michal Shani, Alex Lustman, Yochai Schonmann, Doron Comaneshter

Keywords: medication adherence, preventive medicine, diabetes mellitus, hypertension


Medication adherence is crucial in chronic patients’ care. Better medication adherence is related to better outcome. The association between medication adherence and adherence to preventive medicine has not been tested.

Research questions:

Is there relation between adherence to medications and adherence to preventive medicine?


We included all patients aged 50-75 with diabetes or hypertension who were insured by Clalit and treated with at least one chronic medication in 2017. For each patient we examined the adherence to one of 22 oral medications for treatment of diabetes or hypertension. Good adherence was defined as claiming at least nine monthly prescriptions during 2017. We calculated for each patient the average adherence rate for her/his medications. We tested the relation between average medications adherence rate and whether patients had annual influenza injections, mammogram and colon cancer screen according to the recommendations.


262,649 patients were included. Average age was 63.7, 50.6% were men. 81.5% of the patients had hypertension and 59.4% had diabetes. Patients used 2.2±1.1 medications on average. 59.6% of the eligible patients had received an influenza vaccine during 2017, 67.8% had undergone colon cancer screening, and 75.1% of the women had a mammography according to the recommendations.
Patients who received an influenza vaccine had higher adherence rates to medication compared to patients who did not have the injection OR=1.27 (CI 1.25-1.30), patients who performed mammography had OR=1.15 (CI 1.11-1.18) for medication adherence rate compared to those who had not, and patients who had been screened for colon cancer had OR=1.18 (CI 1.16-1.21) for medication adherence compared to those who had not.


Our findings suggest that medication adherence is associated with adherence to preventive medicine in diabetic and hypertensive patients.

Points for discussion:

mediation adherence and preventive medicine adherence