Implications of Guideline Updates for the Management of Apparent Treatment Resistant Hypertension in the United States (A NCDR Research to Practice [R2P] Project)

Am J Cardiol. 2020 Jan 1;125(1):63-67. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2019.09.033. Epub 2019 Oct 11.


The 2018 resistant hypertension scientific statement offers new treatment recommendations. To determine the implications of these changes, we sought to ascertain the prevalence of apparent treatment resistant hypertension (aTRH) and the therapies used to treat it in an US national ambulatory cardiovascular registry before these recent developments. Using the PINNACLE Registry from 2013 to 2014, we identified all patients receiving treatment for hypertension and then determined the proportion with aTRH as those who met the following criteria over ≥2 consecutive visits: (1) 3 blood pressure medication classes including a diuretic and blood pressure >140/90, OR (2) ≥4 blood pressure medications. Among those with aTRH, we examined past use of therapies now recommended in guidelines including: (1) first-line therapy with an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor or angiotensin-II receptor blocker, calcium channel blocker and a thiazide diuretic, (2) use of chlorthalidone, and (3) use of a mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist (MRA) for those requiring a 4th medication. Of 84,624 patients on treatment for hypertension, 11,147 (13.1%) met criteria for prevalent aTRH. Among these patients: (1) Of those on 3 antihypertensive agents (n = 1,255), 315 (25%) were on the first-line regimen now recommended in guidelines, (2) 520 (6.7%) of the 7,930 patients on thiazides were using chlorthalidone, and (3) 3061 (27%) were using a MRA; another 4,523 (40.6%) were eligible for its addition. In conclusion, our findings of low historic use of therapies now recommended in guidelines suggest opportunities to improve care among patients with aTRH.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Blood Pressure / physiology*
  • Disease Management*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / drug therapy*
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Antihypertensive Agents