Trends in antihypertensive medication use and blood pressure control among United States adults with hypertension: the National Health And Nutrition Examination Survey, 2001 to 2010

Circulation. 2012 Oct 23;126(17):2105-14. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.112.096156.


Background: The monitoring of national trends in hypertension treatment and control can provide important insight into the effectiveness of primary prevention efforts for cardiovascular disease. The objective of this study was to examine recent trends in antihypertensive medication use and its impact on blood pressure control among US adults with hypertension.

Methods and results: A total of 9320 hypertensive people aged ≥18 years from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2001 to 2010 were included in this study. The prevalence of antihypertensive medication use increased from 63.5% in 2001 to 2002 to 77.3% in 2009 to 2010 (P(trend)<0.01). Most notably, there was a large increase in the use of multiple antihypertensive agents (from 36.8% to 47.7%, P(trend)<0.01). Overall, the use of thiazide diuretics, β-blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, and angiotensin receptor blockers increased by 23%, 57%, 31%, and 100%, respectively. In comparison with monotherapy, single-pill combinations and multiple-pill combinations were associated with 55% and 26% increased likelihoods of blood pressure control, respectively. By the 2009 to 2010 time period, 47% of all hypertensive people and 60% of treated hypertensive people had blood pressure controlled. However, higher treated but uncontrolled hypertension rates continued to persist among older Americans, non-Hispanic blacks, diabetic people, and those with chronic kidney disease. Also, Mexican Americans with hypertension were still less likely to take antihypertensive medication than non-Hispanic whites with hypertension.

Conclusions: Antihypertensive medication use and blood pressure control among US adults with hypertension significantly increased over the past 10 years. Combination therapy regimens can facilitate achievement of blood pressure goals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antihypertensive Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects*
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / drug therapy*
  • Hypertension / epidemiology*
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Surveys / trends*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult


  • Antihypertensive Agents