More Americans Have High Blood Pressure Under Control: Survey

MONDAY, Oct. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Increased use of multiple drug combinations likely explains the significant increase in the number of U.S. adults with hypertension who say they have their blood pressure under control, according to a new study.

Researchers followed more than 9,300 patients with high blood pressure and found that those who said they had their blood pressure under control increased from 29 percent in 2001 to 47 percent in 2010.

The study also found that the use of two or more drugs to control high blood pressure increased from 37 percent to 48 percent during that time, and that nearly two-thirds of patients on combination therapy had controlled blood pressure by 2010.

Older adults, blacks and people with chronic kidney disease and diabetes have higher rates of high blood pressure, and Mexican-Americans are least likely to take blood pressure medications, according to the study, which appears in the Oct. 22 issue of the journal Circulation.

"Much progress has been made in blood pressure control over the last 10-year period and the use of multiple drug combinations apparently has had an effect," study co-author Dr. Qiuping Gu, an epidemiologist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics, said in a journal news release.

Other factors associated with increased blood pressure control include lower cost and generic versions of medications, and increased awareness about the dangers of uncontrolled high blood pressure.

"While there are possibly several factors involved, more needs to be learned about why only 34 percent of Mexican-Americans with hypertension have their blood pressure under control," Gu said.

-- Robert Preidt

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SOURCE: Circulation, news release, Oct. 22, 2012