Antihypertensive drug use. Trends in the United States from 1973 to 1985.
Hypertension, a major public health problem, often requires drug therapy. We examined trends in outpatient antihypertensive drug use in the United States from 1973 to 1985. The numbers of prescriptions and the diagnostic and drug treatment information were obtained from the National Prescription Audit (Ambler, Pa, IMS America, 1985) the National Disease and Therapeutic Index (Ambler, Pa, IMS America, 1985), ongoing surveys of pharmacies, and office-based physicians. We adjusted drug-use data for the fact that several antihypertensive drugs also have other uses. During the study period, the annual numbers of prescriptions for treatment of hypertension progressively increased from 128.1 to 208.6 million, an average change of 5% per year. In 1973, the three leading classes of antihypertensive drugs were thiazide diuretic agents, peripheral neuronal inhibitors, and central alpha-adrenergic receptor stimulators. By 1985, the thiazide drugs were still the leader, followed by beta-adrenergic receptor blockers and potassium-sparing diuretic drugs. The use trends presented are consistent with surveys indicating increased drug therapy of hypertension from 1960 to the present.
- Copyright © 1989 by American Heart Association