A former medical student at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry has had his fourth year project published as a paper in a prestigious journal and reported by the international media.
Sayed Hafiz Naderi (24), who has now qualified as a doctor and is working in his first foundation year at Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, Essex, chose to do a meta-analysis on adherence rates to cardiovascular medications for his fourth year selected study component – a project in which students can select a particular area of medicine or surgery to concentrate on.
He was supervised by Dr David Wald, Reader in Preventive Cardiovascular Medicine and Consultant Cardiologist at the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine at Barts and The London and a consultant cardiologist at the London Chest Hospital.
Once the project was completed, he and Dr Wald submitted it to the American Journal of Medicine where it was published in July entitled “Adherence to Drugs That Prevent Cardiovascular Disease: Meta-analysis on 376,162 Patients”.
The study found that only 57% of patients on aspirin, angiotensinconvertingenzyme (ACE) inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, beta-blockers, calcium-channel blockers, thiazides, and statins took their medication correctly. Dr Naderi and his co-authors concluded: “Adherence to preventive treatment is poor and little related to class of drug, suggesting that side effects are not the main cause. General, rather than class-specific, measures at improving adherence are needed.”
Various international media organisations reported the study, including Reuters.
Dr Naderi said: “We expected some of the findings, such as patients who have had a heart attack were more likely to take their medication than those who were preventing a first attack. What was surprising to us was that there was no difference in adherence rates between patients who paid for their medication compared to those who received health cover for prescriptions. We predicted that paying for something would make it seem more valuable, resulting in higher adherence rates in this group.”
Dr Wald said: “This is a good example of how medical students can get immersed effectively in research during their undergraduate years, producing high quality work that is capable of being published in the best journals.”
Dr Naderi said: “It was an absolute pleasure working with Dr Wald on this project. His valued advice and constant support are much appreciated. I’ve learnt a great deal, not only from the research itself, but also the process of submitting a paper to a respected journal.
“My time at Barts and The London, Queen Mary, has shaped me into the junior doctor I am today and I will be forever grateful to the staff, colleagues and friends, who made each day memorable. I hope to continue this wonderful relationship with Barts as it is not only a world-renowned institution in the field of research but also a university of opportunity.”
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