Greater awareness fuels increase in self-reported hypertension, use of antihypertensive medications

April 15, 2013

Thanks to consumer education efforts on heart disease and hypertension, self-reported hypertension and use of antihypertensive medications has increased in the United States according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

 

Thanks to consumer education efforts on heart disease and hypertension, self-reported hypertension and use of antihypertensive medications has increased in the United States according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In CDC’s April 5, 2013, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the agency reported that self-reported hypertension among US adults increased from 25.8% to 28.3% from 2005 to 2009. Among those reporting hypertension, the proportion using antihypertensive drugs increased from 61.1% to 62.6%.

“Hypertension is a major modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and improving awareness of hypertension is an important first step to treating and controlling hypertension and preventing heart disease and stroke,” CDC researchers wrote in the article. Several CDC programs, including the Million Hearts initiative, a public and private partnership co-led by CDC and the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services, help increase awareness of blood pressure control and hypertension.

The CDC findings, based on data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, showed wide variances in hypertension self-diagnosis and antihypertensive medication use from state to state. In 2009, the prevalence of self-reported hypertension was higher in southern states, generally, and lower in western states.

In 2009, among those with self-reported hypertension, the proportion of participants reporting use of antihypertensive medications was highest in Tennessee (74.1%) and lowest in California (52.3%). However, Tennessee showed no significant change in reported antihypertensive medication use from 2005 to 2009, whereas California showed a significant increase: from 48% to 52.3%, according to the CDC.

California, Iowa, and Michigan reported significant increases in the use of antihypertensives, while Kentucky, Nebraska, and Rhode Island showed significant decreases.