1 in 3 Would Rather Die Early Than Take Pills

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1 in 3 survey respondents rejected the idea even if it meant a shorter life.
1 in 3 survey respondents rejected the idea even if it meant a shorter life.

(HealthDay News) -- One out of three adults would sooner face a shorter life span than take a daily pill to prevent cardiovascular disease, according to a new Internet survey published online Feb. 3 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

The survey involved 1,000 people who were asked hypothetically via the Internet how much time they were willing to forfeit at the end of their lives to avoid taking daily medication. They also were asked about the amount of money they would pay and the hypothetical risk of death they were willing to accept to avoid taking a pill for cardiovascular prevention.

"There were a not-insignificant number of people who were ready to accept a large risk of death to avoid taking a pill for the rest of their lives," lead author Robert Hutchins, M.D., M.P.H., a resident physician in the department of medicine at the University of California in San Francisco, told HealthDay. "Many patients are willing to say, 'I'd rather not do that, I'd rather risk the chance of death.'" And about one in five would be willing to pay $1,000 or more to avoid taking that daily pill.

But while pills seemed to provoke a strong repulsion in some survey respondents, most simply shrugged and accepted the benefits over the inconveniences. According to the results, 62% weren't willing to gamble any risk of immediate death over a daily pill; 70% said they wouldn't trade any weeks of their lives to avoid taking a preventive pill every day; and 43% said they wouldn't pay any amount of money to get out of taking a daily pill.


  1. Hutchins, R, et al. Circulation, ; doi: 10.1161/CIRCOUTCOMES.114.001240.
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