A recent study conducted by researchers with the University of California reveals the lengths people are willing to go to avoid taking daily medication.
One-third of people surveyed said they would rather risk an early death than take a daily pill to prevent heart disease, and a fifth of those polled would pay at least $1,000 to avoid taking medication daily.
The survey was initially designed to see just how much time at the end of their lives people would be willing to give up to avoid taking preventative medications every day, and how much they would be willing to pay to avoid having to take these pills. Participants were told to imagine that the medications were free and to ignore any potential side effects.
In “real life,” 54 percent of survey participants were taking at least three medications daily. However, about 21 percent said they would trade one week to one year of their lives to stop taking the drugs. Comparatively, nearly 70 percent of participants said they would take a daily pill to live one week longer.
“Clearly, people will be compliant (with their medications) if they don’t have any side effects,” said Dr. Mario Garcia of the Montefiore-Einstein Center for Heart and Vascular Care in New York.
But side effects are one of the main reasons people stop using medication, including drugs such as statins designed to protect against cardiovascular disease. Statin side effects include muscle injury and liver damage, and can increase blood sugar levels putting users at risk of type 2 diabetes, a condition that leads to heart disease, kidney disease, some cancers, and other serious ailments.
When side effects are factored into the equation, researchers found, the results are surprisingly different. Many patients chose quality of life over extended life.
Source: Daily Mail