Blood pressure (BP) control rates among US adults taking antihypertensive medication have not increased over the past decade. Many adults require 2 or more classes of antihypertensive medication to achieve guideline-recommended BP goals, but the proportion of US adults taking antihypertensive medication monotherapy, versus combination therapy, has not been quantified using contemporary data. We analyzed data from 2005 to 2008, 2009 to 2012, and 2013 to 2016 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys to determine trends in monotherapy and combinations of antihypertensive medication classes among US adults age ≥20 years with hypertension taking antihypertensive medication (n=7837). The proportion of US adults taking antihypertensive medication with uncontrolled BP (ie, systolic BP ≥140 or diastolic BP ≥90 mm Hg) was 32.3%, 30.2%, and 31.0% in 2005 to 2008, 2009 to 2012, and 2013 to 2016, respectively (Ptrend=0.37). Between 2005 to 2008 and 2013 to 2016, there was no evidence of changes in the proportions of US adults taking antihypertensive monotherapy (39.5%-40.4%, Ptrend=0.67), dual-therapy (37.9%-38.3%, Ptrend=0.75), triple-therapy (17.6%-16.5%, Ptrend=0.36), or quadruple-therapy (4.4%-4.3%, Ptrend=0.93). Between 2005 to 2008 and 2013 to 2016, there was no evidence of changes in the proportions of US adults with uncontrolled BP taking antihypertensive monotherapy (39.3%-40.6%, Ptrend=0.78). A high proportion of US adults with hypertension, including those with uncontrolled BP, are taking one antihypertensive medication class. Increasing the use of dual- and triple-therapy antihypertensive medication regimens may restore the upward trend in BP control rates among US adults.
Keywords: antihypertensive agents; blood pressure; cardiovascular agents; cardiovascular diseases; hypertension.