Genomics Inform.  2014 Sep;12(3):121-126. 10.5808/GI.2014.12.3.121.

Genome-Wide Association Study of Medication Adherence in Chronic Diseases in the Korean Population

  • 1Department of Microbiology, Keimyung University School of Medicine, Daegu 704-701, Korea.


Medication adherence is generally defined as the extent of voluntary cooperation of a patient in taking medicine as prescribed. Adherence to long-term treatment with chronic disease is essential for reducing disease comorbidity and mortality. However, medication non-adherence in chronic disease averages 50%. This study was conducted a genome-wide association study to identify the genetic basis of medication adherence. A total of 235 medication non-adherents and 1,067 medication adherents with hypertension or diabetes were used from the Korean Association Resource project data according to the self-reported treatment status of each chronic disease, respectively. We identified four single nucleotide polymorphisms with suggestive genome-wide association. The most significant single nucleotide polymorphism was rs6978712 (chromosome 7, p = 4.87 x 10-7), which is located proximal to the GCC1 gene, which was previously implicated in decision-making capability in drug abusers. Two suggestive single nucleotide polymorphisms were in strong linkage disequilibrium (r2 > 0.8) with rs6978712. Thus, in the aspect of decision-making in adherence behavior, the association between medication adherence and three loci proximal to the GCC1 gene seems worthy of further research. However, to overcome a few limitations in this study, defining the standardized phenotype criteria for self-reported adherence should be performed before replicating association studies.


chronic disease; genome-wide association study; medication adherence; medication compliance

MeSH Terms

Chronic Disease*
Drug Users
Genome-Wide Association Study*
Linkage Disequilibrium
Medication Adherence*
Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
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