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Drinking and Drugs: When Is Enough Too Much?

Carol Golin, MD
[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

From the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599.

Acknowledgment: The author thanks Catherine Grodensky for administrative and editorial assistance.

Potential Financial Conflicts of Interest: None disclosed.

Requests for Single Reprints: Carol Golin, MD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 725 Airport Road, Campus Box 7590, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599; e-mail, Carol_Golin@med.unc.edu.

Ann Intern Med. 2008;149(11):830-832. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-149-11-200812020-00012
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Studies have consistently shown that patients with chronic, often asymptomatic diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension, frequently do not adhere to their medication regimens. One meta-analysis demonstrated that only 40% of chronically ill patients take all of their prescribed doses (1). Not only is poor adherence common in treatment of chronic illness, but several studies have shown that it leads to a broad range of important adverse health outcomes in patients with coronary artery disease, HIV, diabetes, and hypertension (26). Thus, effective interventions to help patients achieve and maintain optimal adherence are crucial to providing high-quality, cost-effective medical care.

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