Trends in Antihypertensive Medication Use and Blood Pressure Control Among Adults With Hypertension in Germany

Am J Hypertens. 2016 Jan;29(1):104-13. doi: 10.1093/ajh/hpv067. Epub 2015 May 11.


Background: Hypertension is a major risk factor for morbidity and mortality, therefore its control is of great importance. In this study we compare the use of antihypertensive medication among adults with hypertension in Germany 1998 and 2008-2011 and determine factors associated with use and control.

Methods: Data from German Health Examination Surveys (GNHIES98 1998, n = 7,124 and DEGS1 2008-2011 n = 7,988, age 18-79 years) including standardized blood pressure (BP) measurements and Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical (ATC) medication codes were analyzed.

Results: The use of antihypertensive medication among adults with hypertension in Germany increased from 54% to 72% in 1 decade. In 2008-2011, 67% of users were treated with polytherapy. The most commonly used antihypertensive class in 1998 was diuretics (43%) and in 2008-2011 beta-blockers (54%). Ramipril and metoprolol are currently the most commonly used monotherapy agents, while ramipril in combination with hydrochlorothiazide is the most frequent polytherapy. Being a woman, older age, having statutory health insurance, diabetes, coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, and obesity were positively associated with antihypertensive use. The control rate among treated increased from 42% to 72%. Young women (18-54 years) had better control compared to older women or to men. Having CHD or stroke was positively associated with BP control.

Conclusions: Increased and improved antihypertensive use might be a main contributor to the decrease in BP observed in Germany in the last decade. However, there are still socio-demographic and health disparities in hypertension treatment and control.

Keywords: Germany.; antihypertensive; blood pressure; control; factors-associated; hypertension; treatment; trends.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects*
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Calcium Channel Blockers / therapeutic use
  • Diuretics / therapeutic use
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Health Surveys*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / drug therapy*
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult


  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists
  • Antihypertensive Agents
  • Calcium Channel Blockers
  • Diuretics