TAIWAN - High blood pressure is a common health problem in Taiwan, but many patients have failed to follow their medication schedules, worsening their conditions, a report said yesterday.
A recent survey indicated that of the 4.3 million high blood pressure patients in Taiwan, 72 per cent have forgotten at least once to take prescribed medicines, the United Evening News cited doctors as disclosing.
About 24 per cent have cut the intake of drugs without doctors' authorisation, while 30 per cent have completely stopped taking medicines, the paper said.
Lin Hsing-jung, head of Taiwan's cardiologist association, was cited as noting that failing to stick to the medication schedule is the major reason for patients' failure to keep their blood pressure under control.
The survey also found that 45 per cent of people who have high blood pressure are not aware of their condition.
High blood pressure raises the chance of a stroke or heart attack, the paper cited Lin as saying.
Wang Tsung-tao, an official with the association, said many elderly patients go to the hospital regularly to obtain medications, but they often forget to take them, which is both a waste of medical resources and a risk to their health.
Many patients with chronic diseases often think that they know their sickness well, and rely on their own "experience" to determine how much of the medicine they should take, ignoring doctors' instructions.
Wang said patients who do not check their blood pressure regularly tend to ignore doctors' medication instructions. He suggested patients check their blood pressure regularly.
Doctors also advised people against consuming too much sodium.
The daily maximum advisable intake of sodium for an adult is 2,400 milligrams, but a pack of instant noodles usually contains 1,500 mg to 2,000 mg, doctors said.