Neighborhood-Level Socioeconomic Status and Prescription Fill Patterns among Patients with Heart Failure

Amrita Mukhopadhyay, Saul Blecker, Xiyue Li, Ian M. Kronish, Rumi Chunara, Yaguang Zheng, Steven Lawrence, John A. Dodson, Sam Kozloff, Samrachana Adhikari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Importance: Medication nonadherence is common among patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) and can lead to increased hospitalization and mortality. Patients living in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas may be at greater risk for medication nonadherence due to barriers such as lower access to transportation or pharmacies. Objective: To examine the association between neighborhood-level socioeconomic status (nSES) and medication nonadherence among patients with HFrEF and to assess the mediating roles of access to transportation, walkability, and pharmacy density. Design, Setting, and Participants: This retrospective cohort study was conducted between June 30, 2020, and December 31, 2021, at a large health system based primarily in New York City and surrounding areas. Adult patients with a diagnosis of HF, reduced EF on echocardiogram, and a prescription of at least 1 guideline-directed medical therapy (GDMT) for HFrEF were included. Exposure: Patient addresses were geocoded, and nSES was calculated using the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality SES index, which combines census-tract level measures of poverty, rent burden, unemployment, crowding, home value, and education, with higher values indicating higher nSES. Main Outcomes and Measures: Medication nonadherence was obtained through linkage of health record prescription data with pharmacy fill data and was defined as proportion of days covered (PDC) of less than 80% over 6 months, averaged across GDMT medications. Results: Among 6247 patients, the mean (SD) age was 73 (14) years, and majority were male (4340 [69.5%]). There were 1011 (16.2%) Black participants, 735 (11.8%) Hispanic/Latinx participants, and 3929 (62.9%) White participants. Patients in lower nSES areas had higher rates of nonadherence, ranging from 51.7% in the lowest quartile (731 of 1086 participants) to 40.0% in the highest quartile (563 of 1086 participants) (P <.001). In adjusted analysis, patients living in the lower 2 nSES quartiles had significantly higher odds of nonadherence when compared with patients living in the highest nSES quartile (quartile 1: odds ratio [OR], 1.57 [95% CI, 1.35-1.83]; quartile 2: OR, 1.35 [95% CI, 1.16-1.56]). No mediation by access to transportation and pharmacy density was found, but a small amount of mediation by neighborhood walkability was observed. Conclusions and Relevance: In this retrospective cohort study of patients with HFrEF, living in a lower nSES area was associated with higher rates of GDMT nonadherence. These findings highlight the importance of considering neighborhood-level disparities when developing approaches to improve medication adherence..

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E2347519
JournalJAMA network open
Issue number12
StatePublished - 14 Dec 2023
Externally publishedYes


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