Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the USA, and there is an extensive literature describing disparities in the treatment of the disease. Cholesterol-lowering medications are an effective strategy for reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases for many patients, but some who are prescribed these medications fail to take them. We examine data from the 2014 New York City Community Health Survey to investigate the factors that influence why patients are not compliant in following the prescribed regimen. We focus on adults age 45 and older who report that they are diagnosed with elevated cholesterol levels and were told by a health professional they needed to take cholesterol-lowering medication. We find that evident disparities: individuals with low incomes, those who rely on emergency departments for their healthcare, have not received medical care within the past year, are depressed, and identify as black non-Hispanic and Hispanic are less likely to adhere to a cholesterol-lowering medication program. Although Medicare beneficiaries are less likely to take cholesterol-lowering medication than those with private insurance, those who were on Medicaid or were uninsured did not report lower rates of adherence.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health(social science)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Health Policy
- Sociology and Political Science
- Health care disparities
- New York City