E. Schizophrenia Study Links Ethnicity to Low Rates of Drug Adherence
This is Science Today. Despite improved drug therapies for schizophrenia – a serious mental illness that affects more than two million Americans – a recent study found only forty-one percent of patients take their antipsychotic medication on a regular basis. Dr. Dilip Jeste, a professor of psychiatry and neuroscience at the University of California, San Diego, says while it's been known that African Americans were significantly less likely to adhere to their medication, their study identified for the first time a low rate among Latinos.
Jeste: It is a clearly worrisome finding that both African-Americans and Latinos have a low rate of adherence. It's not clear what is the explanation – the explanation could be biological and or psychosocial.
Narrator: Biologically, Jeste says there is evidence that certain side effects of medications are more common in certain ethnic groups.
Jeste: What is needed is an understanding what are the factors associated with non-adherence in Latinos and then try to find ways in which we can improve the adherence rate in that group.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.