(HealthDay News) – Antihypertensive medication use and blood pressure control are increasing among U.S. adults, but racial disparities still exist, according to a study published in the Oct 23 issue of Circulation.

Qiuping Gu, MD, PhD, MPH, from the National Center for Health Statistics at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Hyattsville, MD, and colleagues assessed recent trends in antihypertensive medication use and its impact on blood pressure control in a cohort of 9,320 adults, aged ≥18 years, with hypertension from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2001–2010.

The researchers found that, from 2001–2002 to 2009–2010, the prevalence of antihypertensive medication use increased from 63.5% to 77.3%, and multiple antihypertensive agent use increased from 36.8% to 47.7%. Single- and multiple-pill combinations correlated with a 55% and 26% increased likelihood of blood pressure control, respectively, compared with monotherapy. By 2009–2010, blood pressure was controlled in 47% of all people with hypertension and 60% of treated individuals with hypertension. However, rates of uncontrolled hypertension were still high for older Americans, non-Hispanic blacks, individuals with diabetes, and those with chronic kidney disease. The likelihood of taking antihypertensive medication was lower for Mexican-Americans than non-Hispanic whites with hypertension.

“In summary, antihypertensive medication use and blood pressure control among US adults with hypertension continues to increase,” the authors write. “More efforts are needed to close the gap between treatment and control and to maximize the public health and clinical benefits among those high-risk subpopulations.”

Full Text