Many Patients Do Not Adhere to Hypertension Treatment

HealthDay News — More than 30% of patients with hypertension are not adherent to antihypertensive drug therapy, according to a study published in the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice.

Jerome J. Federspiel, MD, PhD, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and colleagues linked Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities records to Medicare claims for cohort participants reporting hypertension without prevalent cardiovascular disease (CVD). Medicare Part D claims data were used to assess antihypertensive medication adherence, measured as more than 80% proportion days covered.

The researchers found that for 31.5% of the 1826 participants with hypertension and Part D coverage there was no antihypertensive class with medication adherence of more than 80% proportion days covered in the 3 months preceding the report of hypertension. 

Positive predictors of use included female gender and diabetes, after adjustment for confounding variables; African-American race and current smoking were negative predictors. After adjustment, the correlation between receiving no therapy and a composite end point of CV outcomes through 2012 was not statistically significant; the adjusted associations with Medicare inpatient days or payments were also not statistically significant.

“Despite having medical and prescription coverage, nearly a third of hypertensive participants were not adherent to antihypertensive drug therapy,” the researchers wrote. “Differences in clinical outcomes associated with nonadherence, though not statistically significant, were consistent with results from randomized trials.”


  1. Federspiel JJ, Sueta CA, Kucharska-Newton AM, et al. Antihypertensive adherence and outcomes among community-dwelling Medicare beneficiaries: the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study. J Eval Clin Pract. 2016 Nov 3. doi:10.1111/jep.12659 [Epub ahead of print].