Monday, September 9, 2013

Skipping meds linked to more hospital visits for kids

By Kathryn Doyle
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Kids and teens with asthma and type 1 diabetes often don't take their medication as prescribed, and those that skip doses are more likely to end up in the emergency room, according to a new review.
More than half of children with a chronic illness are put on medication, but past studies have found anywhere from 50 percent to 88 percent don't take their drugs as prescribed.
"In our experience, most patients and families are surprised to learn how prevalent this problem is, and many clinicians are as well," lead author Meghan McGrady of the Division of Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, said.
She and co-author Kevin Hommel set out to gauge the long-term healthcare utilization consequences of children with chronic illnesses not taking their medicine.
Their review included 10 past studies, nine of which found a link between skipping medication and more hospital visits.
Nine of the studies included children with asthma and the tenth focused on those with type 1 diabetes. Most studies looked at kids between two and 18 years old; one included young adults up to age 29.
Studies tracked children's medication use through pharmacy refill records, family questionnaires and electronic monitors.
On average, kids with asthma whose families did not fill any of their prescriptions were more likely to go to the ER than children with at least one filled prescription. Likewise, those who rarely refilled their drugs had more ER trips than children who got at least half of their prescribed refills.
More here

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