Treatment and adherence to antihypertensive therapy in France: the roles of socioeconomic factors and primary care medicine in the ESTEBAN survey

Hypertens Res. 2021 May;44(5):550-560. doi: 10.1038/s41440-020-00603-z. Epub 2021 Jan 14.


Antihypertensive drugs remain one of the main beneficial strategies for cardiovascular disease prevention. The objective of our study was to investigate the associations of different clinical and socioeconomic (SES) factors, and the use of primary care medicine with treatment and adherence (proportion of days covered (PDC) by treatment) to hypertension management in French participants aware of their hypertension. Cross-sectional analyses of treatment for hypertension and adherence to treatment were performed using data from 396 participants from the ESTEBAN survey, a representative sample of the French population. Logistic regression analyses were performed to investigate associations between SES factors (age, sex, education, income, civil status), clinical factors, health care (general practitioner (GP) visits, cardiologist visits, number of consultations, home blood pressure measurement (HBPM)), treatment and adherence. A total of 265 of the 396 hypertensive patients were treated. Antihypertensive drug use was more common among elderly individuals (OR: 2.73 [1.14; 4.32), diabetic patients (OR: 4.18 [1.92; 6.44] and overweight hypertensive patients (OR = 3.04 [1.09; 4.99]). GP consultations and HBPM were associated with increased treatment (OR: 1.03 [1.01; 1.05]; OR: 1.97 [1.06; 2.61], respectively). The PDC was higher among men (p = 0.045) and couples living together (p = 0.018) but lower among diabetic patients (p = 0.012) and patients visiting a cardiologist (p = 0.008). Education and income levels were not associated with either treatment or the PDC. In France, SES factors seemed to have little impact on treatment and adherence to antihypertensive drug regimens. However, treatment administered by GPs and HBPM may play key roles in hypertension management. Although the PDC was quite low, both the number of GP consultations and HBPM were positively associated with pharmacological treatment.

Keywords: Adherence; Drug treatment; Hypertension; Primary care medicine; Socioeconomic status.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antihypertensive Agents* / therapeutic use
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • France
  • Humans
  • Hypertension* / drug therapy
  • Male
  • Medication Adherence* / statistics & numerical data
  • Primary Health Care
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Antihypertensive Agents