Previously undiagnosed risk factors and medication nonadherence are prevalent in young adults with first-ever stroke

Sheng Feng Sung, Edward Chia Cheng Lai, Darren Philbert Wu, Cheng Yang Hsieh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The incidence of stroke and prevalence of traditional vascular risk factors (VRFs) in young adults (age < 55 y) are both increasing. Young patients tend to be unaware of their VRFs and to have lower medication adherence. We examined how age affects the prevalence of previously undiagnosed VRFs and the extent of medication nonadherence among stroke patients. Methods: Using Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database, we identified consecutive adult patients with first-ever stroke between 2000 and 2013. Diagnosis of hypertension, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia was ascertained using validated methods. We investigated (1) the proportion of patients who had undiagnosed VRFs within 3 years before stroke and (2) the proportion of nonadherence to medications among patients who had a previously diagnosed VRF. Results: Among stroke patients with hypertension (n = 9722), diabetes (n = 4751), and hyperlipidemia (n = 4486), 24.9%, 20.8%, and 55.0%, respectively, had not been diagnosed before stroke, whereas 56.0%, 66.7%, and 32.5%, respectively, had been diagnosed at least 1 year before stroke. The proportions of medication nonadherence were 71.5%, 64.3%, and 88.4% in patients with previously diagnosed hypertension, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia, respectively. In multivariate analysis, younger age was independently associated with undiagnosed hypertension before stroke as well as medication nonadherence in patients with previously diagnosed hypertension or diabetes. Conclusions: Previously undiagnosed hypertension and nonadherence to treatment of hypertension and diabetes were more prevalent in young adult patients with first-ever stroke in Taiwan. Interventions targeting young people to promote early detection and adequate control of VRFs should be encouraged.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1458-1464
Number of pages7
JournalPharmacoepidemiology and drug safety
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Dec

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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