Race, ethnicity, and sociocultural characteristics predict noncompliance with lipid-lowering medications

Robert C. Kaplan, Narendra C. Bhalodkar, Edward J. Brown, Jessica White, David L. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Background. Sociocultural factors that predict noncompliance with lipid-lowering medications are not well understood. Methods. Interviews and medical record review were conducted for 510 patients treated with lipid-lowering medications. Compliance with lipid-lowering medications was measured by patients' self-assessment of medication-taking practices. Results. Adjusted for age and sex, there was a higher frequency of noncompliance among Black and Hispanic subjects. Adjusted for age, sex, and race/ethnicity, noncompliance was associated with medication side effects, feelings of sadness or depression, fair or poor health status, primary use of a language other than English, single or divorced status, fewer and less frequent contact with friends, children in the household, and lower education. Independent predictors of noncompliance in multivariate models were side effects (OR = 3.9, P < 0.01), sadness or depression (OR = 1.9, P = 0.05), Black (OR = 3.7, P < 0.01, vs. White), Hispanic (OR = 6.3, P < 0.01, vs. White), single or divorced (OR = 2.1, P < 0.01), children in the household (OR = 1.5 per child, P < 0.01), and lack of health insurance (OR = 2.4, P = 0.05). Conclusions. Unmarried status, feelings of sadness or depression, lack of insurance, and children in the household were independently associated with poorer compliance with lipid-lowering medications in this urban population. Nonetheless, higher noncompliance among minority patients persisted independently of these and other specific social, cultural, and economic factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1249-1255
Number of pages7
JournalPreventive Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2004


  • Dyslipidemia
  • Ethnicity
  • Race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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