The aim of the study was to investigate adherence of patients that survived myocardial infarction (MI) to standard medical therapy and the impact of adherence upon course of the disease. The study included 316 patients who were prescribed four groups of medications for long-term use at the time of discharge from hospital. After 3 years we have questioned patients about adherence to treatment. The end-points were: cardiovascular mortality, recurrent MI, unstable angina, myocardial revascularization and re-hospitalization. The rate of adherence to standard therapy among patients who survived MI was less than 30 %. In patients who did not adhere to the recommendations recurrent MI occurred 2 times more often than in patients who received standard therapy. Number of hospitalizations for heart failure or stable angina was also significantly higher in patients who did not comply with these recommendations. Gender differences regarding preference for certain groups of drugs were revealed, i.e. men were more committed to receive aspirin and beta-blockers. Nonadherence to medical treatments leads to more frequent development of recurrent MI in both men and women. In women, lack of adherence to standard therapy is also associated with increased development of stroke, in
men – re-hospitalizations and the need for myocardial revascularization.