Nav: Home

Nearly half of US adults with high blood pressure have it under control

October 22, 2012

Nearly half of U.S. adults with high blood pressure had their blood pressure under control by the end of 2010 -- a significant increase from the start of the decade, researchers reported in the American Heart Association journal Circulation.

Improvements in blood pressure control were most likely due to wider use of multiple drug combinations, researchers said.

Researchers at the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) interviewed 9,320 hypertensive participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2001-10. By the end of 2010, 47 percent had controlled blood pressure -- up from 29 percent 10 years earlier.

The in-person survey is the first to compare blood pressure control rates before and after the Joint National Committee (JNC7) treatment guidelines were published in 2003.

Under JNC7 guidelines, many patients may need combination therapy with two or more drugs to achieve adequate blood pressure control. In the study, almost two-thirds of those on combination therapy had controlled blood pressure by 2010, and the use of multiple drugs increased from 37 percent in 2001 to 48 percent by 2010.

Compared with using one drug, single and multiple-pill combinations were associated with 55 percent and 26 percent increased likelihood of control, respectively. "Much progress has been made in blood pressure control over the last 10-year period and the use of multiple drug combinations apparently has had an effect," said Qiuping Gu, M.D., Ph.D., an epidemiologist at the NCHS.

Lower cost of medications and their availability in generic form as well as increased awareness of the risk of uncontrolled high blood pressure has also had a positive effect.

But some issues continue to be problematic, researchers said.

The national hypertension treatment guidelines recommended thiazide diuretics as initial drug therapy for most patients with uncomplicated hypertension, yet their overall use remains comparatively low. In addition, "nearly half of the hypertensive population is not being treated with combination therapy," said Charles F. Dillon, M.D., Ph.D., co-author of the study.

Moreover, rates were lower for older Americans, African-Americans and people with diabetes and chronic kidney disease. Mexican-Americans were least likely to take any kind of blood pressure medication.

"While there are possibly several factors involved, more needs to be learned about why only 34 percent of Mexican-Americans with hypertension have their blood pressure under control," Gu said. Participants were only asked about medications used in the prior month, so those who might have taken medications previously were classified as non-users.
-end-
Furthermore, NHANES blood pressure measurements were only collected one time, so some people in the study may have been misclassified.

Other co-authors are: Vicki L. Burt, Sc.M., R.N.; Charles F. Dillon, M.D., Ph.D.; and Sarah Yoon, Ph.D. Author disclosures are on the manuscript.

NCHS is part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For high blood pressure information visit www.heart.org/hbp.

Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association's policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

American Heart Association

Related Blood Pressure Articles:

Arm cuff blood pressure measurements may fall short for predicting heart disease risk in some people with resistant high blood pressure
A measurement of central blood pressure in people with difficult-to-treat high blood pressure could help reduce risk of heart disease better than traditional arm cuff readings for some patients, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association's Hypertension 2019 Scientific Sessions.
Heating pads may lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure when lying down
In people with supine hypertension due to autonomic failure, a condition that increases blood pressure when lying down, overnight heat therapy significantly decreased systolic blood pressure compared to a placebo.
The Lancet Neurology: High blood pressure and rising blood pressure between ages 36-53 are associated with smaller brain volume and white matter lesions in later years
A study of the world's oldest, continuously-studied birth cohort tracked blood pressure from early adulthood through to late life and explored its influence on brain pathologies detected using brain scanning in their early 70s.
Blood pressure control is beneficial, is it not?
Until recently, physicians had generally assumed that older adults benefit from keeping their blood pressure below 140/90 mmHg.
The 'blue' in blueberries can help lower blood pressure
A new study published in the Journal of Gerontology Series A has found that eating 200g of blueberries every day for a month can lead to an improvement in blood vessel function and a decrease in systolic blood pressure in healthy people.
More Blood Pressure News and Blood Pressure Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Erasing The Stigma
Many of us either cope with mental illness or know someone who does. But we still have a hard time talking about it. This hour, TED speakers explore ways to push past — and even erase — the stigma. Guests include musician and comedian Jordan Raskopoulos, neuroscientist and psychiatrist Thomas Insel, psychiatrist Dixon Chibanda, anxiety and depression researcher Olivia Remes, and entrepreneur Sangu Delle.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#537 Science Journalism, Hold the Hype
Everyone's seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you'd be right. But there's other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We're talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This...