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Am J Manag Care. 1998 Jul;4(7):957-66.

Compliance with antihypertensive therapy: raising the bar of expectations.

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  • Stanford University School of Medicine, CA 94305, USA. rudd@leland.stanford.edu


Recent advances in the effectiveness of antihypertensive therapies and the measurement of medication-taking behavior have raised the bar of expectations, both for patients and prescribing clinicians. This article reviews the principal findings and makes recommendations to improve pill taking among patients with hypertension. It summarizes several studies related to hypertension epidemiology, component behaviors contributing to suboptimal compliance with prescribed antihypertensive medications, the direct and indirect costs of nonadherent behaviors, and measures of pill-taking behavior. Based on this analysis, current levels of hypertension detection, treatment, and control remain suboptimal. Heuristics for adjusting antihypertensive regimens may be misleading and too simplistic. More than half of those patients failing to achieve goal blood pressure display suboptimal compliance rather than an inadequate regimen. In conclusion, there is a need for enhanced sophistication about medication-taking behavior, especially for hypertension, so that more patients with this condition can fully benefit from effective treatments.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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