Gender differences in hypertension treatment, drug utilization patterns, and blood pressure control among US adults with hypertension: data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2004.Am J Hypertens. 2008 Jul; 21(7):789-98.AJ
National guidelines recommend the same approach for treating hypertensive men and women. It is not known, however, whether current US antihypertensive medication utilization patterns and the resulting degrees of blood pressure (BP) control are similar or different among hypertensive women and men.
The study was a cross-sectional, nationally representative survey of the noninstitutionalized civilian US population. Persons aged > or =18 years from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999-2004 were classified as hypertensive based on a BP > or =140/90 mm Hg, currently taking antihypertensive medication, or having been diagnosed by a physician.
Among hypertensives, the prevalence of antihypertensive medication use was significantly higher among women than men (61.4% vs. 56.8%), especially among middle-aged persons (40-49 years, 53.1% vs. 42.7%) and among non-Hispanic blacks (65.5% vs. 54.6%). Also, treated women were more likely than men to use diuretics (31.6% vs. 22.3%) and angiotensin receptor blockers (11.3% vs. 8.7%). Among treated hypertensives, the proportion taking three or more antihypertensive drugs was lower among women than men, especially among older persons (60-69 years: 12.3% vs. 19.8%, 70-79 years: 18.6% vs. 21.2%, and > or =80 years: 18.8% vs. 22.8%). Only 44.8% of treated women achieved BP control vs. 51.1% of treated men.
Hypertensive women are significantly more likely to be treated than men, but less likely to have achieved BP control. Additional efforts may be needed to achieve therapeutic goals for the US hypertensive population, especially for hypertensive women.