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Predictors and long-term patterns of medication adherence to glaucoma treatment in Denmark-an observational registry study of 30 100 Danish patients with glaucoma.

BACKGROUND: Self-treatment with glaucoma medication (eye drops) has been associated with adherence challenges. Poor adherence results in worse outcomes in terms of visual field loss.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate patterns in medication adherence among Danish patients with glaucoma in relation to selected predictors of adherence, long-term adherence patterns, and long-term societal economic consequences of poor adherence.

METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This register-based study included 30 100 glaucoma patients followed for 10 years between 2000 and 2018. Glaucoma was identified from the Danish national registers by diagnosis of Open Angle Glaucoma and/or by redeemed prescriptions of glaucoma medication. Logistic regression models were applied to estimate patient characteristics related to medical adherence. Diagnosis-related group fees were applied to estimate healthcare costs.

RESULTS: High adherence in the first year(s) of treatment was less likely among men (ORfirst year : 0.78, 95% CI: 0.75 to 0.82), younger individuals and among those with a positive Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) score (ORfirst year/CCI≥3 : 0.71, 95% CI: 0.63 to 0.80). Adherence in the first year and in the first two years was associated with adherence in the fifth (ORfirst year : 4.55, 95% CI: 4.30 to 4.82/ORfirst two years : 6.47, 95% CI: 6.10 to 6.86) as with adherence in the 10th year with slightly lower estimates. Being medical adherent was related to higher costs related to glaucoma medication after 5 and 10 years comparing with poor adherence, whereas poor adherence was associated with a marked increase in long-term costs for hospital contacts.

CONCLUSION: Increasing age, female sex and low comorbidity score are correlated with better adherence to glaucoma treatment. Adherence in the first years of treatment may be a good predictor for future adherence. In the long term, patients with poor adherence are overall more expensive to society in terms of hospital contacts.

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