Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to page options Skip directly to site content

Blood Pressure Control

Helping Patients Take Their Medicine

About 70 percent of U.S. adults ages 65 and older have high blood pressure and only half have it under control, putting them at greater risk for heart disease and stroke. A new CDC Vital Signs report reveals that at least 25 percent of Medicare Part D beneficiaries are not taking their blood pressure medicine as directed, which could have deadly consequences. Taking medicine as prescribed, combined with a healthy diet and exercise, improves blood pressure and could ultimately improve heart health. Additional findings of the report include:

  • Medication adherence varies by race and ethnicity. Over one-third of Medicare Part D enrollees that were black, Hispanic or American Indian/Alaska natives were not taking their blood pressure medicine as directed. This puts them at higher risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney disease and death.
  • There are also geographic differences. The southern U.S. states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have the highest overall rates of people who don’t take their medicine as directed, while North Dakota, Wisconsin and Minnesota have the lowest rates nationwide.

Health care systems– including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, community health workers, practices, hospitals and insurers – can play a key role in improving blood pressure control nationwide. This includes informing patients about the importance of blood pressure control and how taking blood pressure medicine as directed lowers risk of heart disease and stroke.

For more information about heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure, visit https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease, https://www.cdc.gov/stroke and https://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure. Visit millionhearts.hhs.gov to read about Million Hearts, a national initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017.

Contact Information

CDC Media Relations
(404) 639-3286
media@cdc.gov

Vital Signs Links

Factsheet:
English [2.78MB]
Spanish [2.82MB]

Spokespersons

Matthew Ritchey, DPT, PT, OCS, MPH

Matthew Ritchey, DPT, PT, OCS, MPH

“Our research shows that over one-fourth of Medicare Part D beneficiaries are not taking their blood pressure medicine as prescribed. Health care systems can play a key role in helping patients learn to manage their medicines and improve their blood pressure.”

Matthew Ritchey, DPT, PT, OCS, MPH – Epidemiologist, Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention

Related Links

Multimedia

Podcast

TOP