Life events, coping, and antihypertensive medication adherence among older adults: the cohort study of medication adherence among older adults

Am J Epidemiol. 2012 Oct 1;176 Suppl 7(Suppl 7):S64-71. doi: 10.1093/aje/kws233.


The authors examined the association between life events and antihypertensive medication adherence in older adults and the moderating role of coping. A cross-sectional analysis was conducted by using data (n = 1,817) from the Cohort Study of Medication Adherence among Older Adults (recruitment conducted from August 2006 through September 2007). Life events occurring in the 12 months preceding the study interview were assessed via the Holmes Rahe Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS), and coping levels were assessed via an adapted version of the John Henry Active Coping Scale. Low adherence to antihypertensive medication was defined as scores less than 6 on the 8-item Morisky Medication Adherence Scale (known as "MMAS-8"). Of study participants, 13.2% had low adherence, and 27.2% and 5.0% had medium (150-299) and high (≥300) SRRS scores, respectively. After multivariable adjustment, the odds ratios for low adherence associated with medium and high, versus low, SRRS were 1.50 (95% confidence interval: 1.11, 2.02) and 2.11 (95% confidence interval: 1.24, 3.58), respectively. When multivariable models were stratified by coping level, the association between life events and adherence was evident only among participants with low coping levels.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Aged
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / drug therapy
  • Life Change Events*
  • Male
  • Medication Adherence / psychology*
  • Medication Adherence / statistics & numerical data
  • Psychological Tests


  • Antihypertensive Agents