Helping primary care to support people with dementia

Taking medication ‘just like that’

October 13 2012

This campaign led by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) aimed to remind people how vital heart medicines and raise awareness that millions of people could be putting their lives in danger by not taking their medicines as prescribed.


For the campaign the BHF surveyed 2,125 adults across the UK through YouGov and conducted our own survey of over 1,000 heart disease, high cholesterol and high blood pressure patients.

Key facts

  • 1 in 3 high cholesterol patients fail to take their medication properly
  • 1 in 4 high blood pressure patients fail to take their medication properly
  • Nearly a quarter (24%) of people with high cholesterol don’t realise it significantly increases their risk of heart disease
  • Nearly a third (29%) of people with high blood pressure were unaware of the link with heart disease
  • High cholesterol triples your risk of having a heart attack
  • High blood pressure doubles your risk of dying from heart disease
  • We estimate that 45% of heart attacks in Western Europe are caused by abnormal lipids including high cholesterol, while 22% are caused by high blood pressure.

Why do heart patients find taking medication difficult to do?

  • Some people struggle because of busy lives and irregular shifts
  • Others experience side effects which discourage them from taking their medication. We found 1 in 5 people wouldn’t tell their doctor if they’d stopped taking medication
  • More have trouble seeing how their medication benefits them, especially those with risk factor conditions who have few or no symptoms
  • Still more have trouble remembering and sticking to their routines.

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