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CDC Finds Increase in Self-Reported Hypertension

Use of antihypertensive medications also on rise (Apr. 5)

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the prevalence of self-reported hypertension among U.S. adults showed a slight but significant increase between 2005 and 2009, and the proportion of adults using antihypertensive medications increased as well. The new findings were reported April 5 in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

To assess state-level trends in self-reported hypertension and treatment among U.S. adults, the CDC analyzed 2005–2009 data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). During this period, nearly all states had an increased prevalence of self-reported hypertension, with percentage-point increases ranging from 0.2 for Virginia (from 26.9% to 27.1%) to 7.0 for Kentucky (from 27.5% to 34.5%). Overall, from 2005 to 2009, the prevalence of self-reported hypertension among U.S. adults increased from 25.8% to 28.3%. Among those reporting hypertension, the proportion of individuals using antihypertensive medications increased from 61.1% to 62.6%.

According to the CDC, increased knowledge of the differences in the self-reported prevalence of hypertension and in the use of antihypertensive medications by state can help in guiding programs to prevent heart disease, stroke, and other complications of uncontrolled hypertension, including those conducted by state and local public health agencies and health care providers.

By selected characteristics, the prevalence of self-reported hypertension in 2009 was significantly higher among persons aged ≥ 65 years (59.6%) compared with persons aged 18 to 44 years (13.3%) and 45 to 64 years (37.1%); among men (30.3%) compared with women (26.2%); and among blacks (39.6%) compared with American Indian/Alaska Natives (32.0%), Hispanics (27.6%), whites (27.1%), and Asian/Pacific Islanders (24.0%).

Among persons reporting hypertension in 2009, the proportion reporting antihypertensive medication use was significantly higher among persons aged ≥ 65 years (94.1%) compared with those aged 18 to 44 years (45.1%) and 45 to 64 years (82.3%); among women (66.9%) compared with men (59.9%); and among blacks (71.6%) compared with Hispanics (55.2%).

Hypertension affects one third of adults in the U.S. and is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.

Source: CDC; April 5, 2013.

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