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.
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
- Press Release: Poor blood-pressure control puts 5 million older Americans at risk – English | Spanish
- MMWR – Vital Signs: Disparities in Antihypertensive Medication Nonadherence Among Medicare Part D Beneficiaries — United States, 2014
- Vital Signs: Home | September 2016 Vital Signs | Fact Sheet PDF 2.77 MB | Topics
- Vital Signs: (Spanish) Home | 2016 septiembre – Signos Vitales | Fact Sheet PDF 2.82MB | Topics
CDC Related Links
- Centers for Medicare Medicaid Services
- National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
- American Heart Association
- Circulation – Medication adherence: its importance in cardiovascular outcomes.
- American Heart Journal – Medication adherence: A call for action.
- Drugs Aging – Medication (re)fill adherence measures derived from pharmacy claims data in older Americans: a review of the literature.
- American Journal of Medicine – Trouble getting started: predictors of primary medication nonadherence.
- Journal of the American College of Cardiology – Poor Adherence to Statin and Antihypertensive Therapies as Risk Factors for Fatal Stroke.
- American Journal of Preventive Medicine – Medication Adherence and Incident Preventable Hospitalizations for Hypertension.
- Medical Care – Association of Antihypertensive Medication Adherence With Healthcare Use and Medicaid Expenditures for Acute Cardiovascular Events.
- Value Health – Impact of interventions on medication adherence and blood pressure control in patients with essential hypertension: a systematic review by the ISPOR medication adherence and persistence special interest group.
- Journal of Behavioral Medicine – Blood pressure outcomes of medication adherence interventions: systematic review and meta-analysis.
- Archives of Internal Medicine – The implications of therapeutic complexity on adherence to cardiovascular medications.
- Vital Signs – Blood Pressure Control – English | Spanish
- Vital Signs – Blood Pressure Control – [PSA – 0:60 seconds]
- Page last reviewed: September 13, 2016
- Page last updated: September 13, 2016
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