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.govExternal to read about Million Hearts, a national initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017.

Blood Pressure Control

Blood Pressure Control

Blood Pressure Control

Blood Pressure Control

About 5 million adults, ages 65 or older, with Medicare Part D aren't taking their blood pressure medicine as directed.

About 5 million adults, ages 65 or older, with Medicare Part D aren't taking their blood pressure medicine as directed.

Nearly 50% of adults ages 65 or older with high blood pressure don't have it under control.

Nearly 50% of adults ages 65 or older with high blood pressure don't have it under control.

About 70% of US adults, ages 65 or older, have high blood pressure.

About 70% of US adults, ages 65 or older, have high blood pressure.

At each visit: Identify. Assess. Act.

At each visit: Identify. Assess. Act.

Medicines don't work if people don't take them.

Medicines don't work if people don't take them.

75 million US adults have hypertension but many are not aware or treated (hiding in plain site) and only about half have it controlled.

75 million US adults have hypertension but many are not aware or treated (hiding in plain site) and only about half have it controlled.

Cdc-pdf[PDF - 5 MB]
High blood pressure is a key contributor to heart disease and stroke. About 70 percent of U.S. adults ages 65 or older have high blood pressure and only half have it under control.

High blood pressure is a key contributor to heart disease and stroke. About 70 percent of U.S. adults ages 65 or older have high blood pressure and only half have it under control.

Healthcare professionals can play a key role in helping patients reduce and control their blood pressure.

Healthcare professionals can play a key role in helping patients reduce and control their blood pressure.

Patients who take their blood pressure medicine as prescribed and make healthy lifestyle changes can improve their blood pressure and significantly lower their risk for heart disease and stroke.

Patients who take their blood pressure medicine as prescribed and make healthy lifestyle changes can improve their blood pressure and significantly lower their risk for heart disease and stroke.

Contact Information

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

Vital Signs Links

Factsheet:
English Cdc-pdf[2.78MB]
Spanish Cdc-pdf[2.82MB]

Spokespersons

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

Additional Resources

Scientific Articles

Multimedia

Podcast

Page last reviewed: September 13, 2016