Abstract 2728: Nonadherence to Prescribed Medications Mediates the Link between Anxiety and Event-Free Survival in Patients with Heart Failure
Anxiety has been linked to adverse outcomes for patients with cardiac disease but the mechanism for this relationship is unknown. Nonadherence to prescribed medications is common in heart disease, particularly heart failure (HF), and may mediate the relationship between anxiety and outcomes. To determine if nonadherence to prescribed medications mediates any relationship between anxiety and clinical outcomes in patients with HF. Patients (N=147; age 61±11 yrs, 44% female, 59% NYHA class III/IV) with chronic HF were followed 389±324 days for clinical events (composite of death, emergency department visit, or hospitalization). Patients completed the anxiety subscale of the Brief Symptom Inventory at baseline. Objective evidence of medication adherence was measured with the Medication Event Monitoring System. Survival and regression analyses were used to test whether medication nonadherence mediated any association between anxiety and outcomes. Patients with highest anxiety had shorter event-free survival than patients with lower anxiety (Fig.⇓). After adjusting for age, gender, and NYHA class in Cox regression, high anxiety predicted (OR 2.4; p=.001) clinical events. Anxiety predicted medication doses taken (p=.01) and days correct doses taken (p=.008). Medication doses taken (p=.01) and days dose taken (p=.008) also predicted clinical outcomes. Medication nonadherence mediated the relationship between high anxiety and worse outcomes. This is the first study to show that medication nonadherence links anxiety and clinical outcomes. Interventions that decrease anxiety may improve both medication adherence and outcomes.