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Ethn Dis. 2014 Autumn;24(4):431-7.

Prescribing patterns in the treatment of hypertension among underserved African American elderly.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Hypertension among African Americans is higher compared to Whites and has an early onset, greater severity, and is associated with more organ damage. We examined whether pharmaceutical treatment of hypertension among underserved African American elderly is consistent with the current treatment guidelines and whether treatment variations occur due to existing co-morbidities among the hypertensive.

METHODS:

Our study surveyed 400 African Americans, aged ≥ 65 years, recruited from 16 predominantly African American churches located in South Los Angeles. The study used face-to-face interviews which documented type, frequency, and dosage of all medications used by participants. Label information of each drug was recorded.

RESULTS:

Our data indicate: 1) 29% were on one anti-hypertensive medication; 60% were taking 2-3 medications; and 9% were on four classes of anti-hypertensive medication; 2) among the elderly taking a combination of two or more drugs, ACE or ARB was used 76% in combination of agents, diuretics 60%, calcium channel blockers 63%, and beta-blocker 61%; and 3) 26% of the elderly were taking ≥ 3 medications including a diuretic.

CONCLUSIONS:

Treatment of hypertension appears to be inconsistent with the prevailing treatment guidelines for nearly one-third of the aged African Americans. Further investigation is needed to determine why a significant number of individuals from this under-served population are not receiving care based on established clinical guidelines.

PMID:
25417425
PMCID:
PMC4286375
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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