Medication adherence may help keep residents out of the hospital, according to a new investigation of adults age 50 and older.

In a data meta-analysis, the researchers looked at the effects of medication non-adherence on hospitalization and other healthcare visits, as well as mortality, adverse clinical events and quality of life. Hospitalization and mortality were found to be significantly associated with medication adherence, though emergency department visits were not, reported Caroline A. Walsh and colleagues from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

Participants who had good medication adherence had a 17% lower risk of being hospitalized due to any cause when compared with participants who were considered non-adherent. A 21% reduction in long-term mortality risk was found in people who stuck to their medication schedules.

“Medication adherence should be monitored and addressed in this cohort to minimize hospitalization, improve clinical outcomes and reduce healthcare costs,” concluded Walsh.

The results were published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.