ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Those suffering from cardiovascular disease are often their own worst enemies when it comes to taking their medications. That’s according to Todd Ruppar, associate professor at the University of Missouri’s Sinclair School of Nursing.

“People who are prescribed medication for chronic conditions, and particularly things like cardiovascular disease, so high blood pressure, heart failure, coronary artery disease, about half of the patients don’t take the meds prescribed,” he says.

In fact, he says poor adherence to a medication schedule is a big reason that cardiovascular disease remains the number one killer of Americans 18 and older.

He’s urging patients to link taking their medications to daily habits and routines to help remind them. He says home visits, computer-based programs, and even daily diaries are other ways that those suffering from high blood pressure and heart disease can get the full benefit of their medications.

“Programs that help patients to integrate their medication taking into existing habits and routines are really useful, because just setting up alarms and reminders, people tend to get tired of them in about a week or so,” he says.

Ruppar is in Atlanta this week for a medical conference at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to talk about ways to keep patients on track.

(TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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