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Am J Med. 1986 Dec 31;81(6C):20-4.

Preferences and practices of Americans and their physicians in antihypertensive therapy.


In the summer of 1986, the Gallup Organization conducted two surveys, one of the physicians who treat hypertension and the other of patients who were receiving medications for hypertension. Objectives were to assess current patterns of treatment and the impact of cost on treatment for hypertension. Seventy percent of the patients report being prescribed medication immediately following the diagnosis of hypertension. Diuretics are the most frequently prescribed initial medication (76 percent of physicians), followed by beta blockers (44 percent of physicians). Physicians report recent trends, however, towards more use of beta blockers and angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors and less use of diuretics. Only 59 percent of patients have insurance that covers medication, and about one in four patients report that paying for medications or physicians' fees is "very much" or "somewhat" of a problem. The costs of care are of concern to physicians as well as to patients.

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