News from the FDA/CDC

Hypertension goes unmedicated in 40% of adults



Roughly 30% of adults in the United States had hypertension in 2017, and just under 60% of those adults reported using antihypertensive medication, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Current antihypertensive use in adults with hypertension, 2017

There is, however, quite a bit of variation from those age-standardized national figures when state-level data are considered.

In Alabama and West Virginia, the prevalence of hypertension in 2017 was 38.6%, the highest in the country, with Arkansas (38.5%) and Mississippi (38.2%) not far behind. Meanwhile, Minnesota came in with a lowest-in-the-nation rate of 24.3%, which was nearly matched by Colorado at 24.8%, Claudine M. Samanic, PhD, and associates wrote in the MMWR.

There was also a considerable gap between the states in hypertensive adults’ self-reported use of antihypertensive drugs, which was generally higher in the states with a greater prevalence of disease, they noted.

Adults in Mississippi were the most likely (71.2%) to be taking medication, along with those in Alabama (70.5%) and Arkansas (69.3%). Idaho occupied the other end of the scale with a rate of 50.2%, while Montana and Vermont were slightly better at 51.7%, based on survey data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.

“Prevalence of antihypertensive medication use was higher in older age groups, highest among blacks, and higher among women [64.0%] than men [56.7%]. This overall gender difference has been reported previously, but the reasons are unclear,” wrote Dr. Samanic and associates at the CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

The BRFSS data for 2017 are based on based on interviews with 450,016 adults. Respondents were asked, “Have you ever been told by a doctor, nurse, or other health professional that you have high blood pressure?” and were considered to have hypertension if they answered yes.

SOURCE: Samanic CM et al. MMWR. 2020 Apr 10;69(14):393-8.

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