Prescribing Patterns of Antihypertensive Medications in US Ambulatory Care Settings.


College of Pharmacy, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, North Chicago, IL 60064, USA. [Email]


Over 70 million Americans are diagnosed with hypertension. Adherence to current AHA/ACC 2017 hypertension guidelines and appropriate antihypertensive therapy is important for optimal treatment outcomes. This study investigates prescribing patterns for ambulatory care patients with hypertension and adherence to these guidelines. Data from the 2015 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS) were used in the study. Patients with primary diagnoses of essential hypertension were extracted from the data using ICD-9 code "401". A total of 595 patients were identified. Correlation among demographic variables, source of payment and prescriber specialty were examined. Chi-square and descriptive analysis were performed. 51.4% of the prescriptions were non-first-line medications. Primary care physicians and cardiologists adhered to the guidelines more, when compared to the other specialties. There was a significant difference between various geographic regions, as it relates to guidelines adherence. This study concluded that prescribers do not always adhere to the AHA/ACC 2017 hypertension guidelines. It is recommended to adhere to the guidelines if there are no contraindications. The study's findings were limited to the ambulatory patients visiting providers in 2015 and by the operational definitions of the study.


adherence,hypertension,prescribing pattern,