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Doyle M Cummings, Alyssa Adams, Shivajirao Patil, Andrea Cherrington, Jacqueline R Halladay, Suzanne Oparil, Orysya Soroka, Joanna Bryan Ringel, Monika M Safford


Background/objective: Because racial disparities in hypertension treatment persist, the objective of the present study was to examine patient vs. practice characteristics that influence antihypertensive selection and treatment intensity for non-Hispanic Black (hereafter “Black”) patients with uncontrolled hypertension in the rural southeastern USA. Methods: We enrolled 25 Black patients from each of 69 rural practices in Alabama and North Carolina with uncontrolled hypertension (systolic blood pressure (BP) ≥ 140 mm Hg) in a 4-arm cluster randomized trial of BP control interventions. Patients’ antihypertensive medications were abstracted from medical records and reconciled at the baseline visit. Treatment intensity was computed using the defined daily dose (DDD) method of the World Health Organization. Correlates of greater antihypertensive medication intensity were assessed by linear regression modeling, and antihypertensive medication classes were compared by baseline systolic BP (SBP) level. Results: A total of 1431 patients were enrolled and had complete baseline data. Antihypertensive treatment intensity averaged 3.7 ± 2.6 equivalent medications at usual dosages and was significantly related to higher baseline systolic BP, older age, male sex, insurance availability, higher BMI, and concurrent diabetes, but not to practice type or medication barriers in regression models. Renin-angiotensin system inhibitors were the most commonly used medications, followed by diuretics and calcium channel blockers. Conclusion/relevance: Antihypertensive treatment intensity for Black patients in the rural southeastern USA with a history of uncontrolled hypertension averaged the equivalent of almost four medications at usual dosages and was significantly associated with baseline SBP levels and other patient characteristics, but not clinic type.


Cummings DM, Adams A, Patil S, Cherrington A, Halladay JR, Oparil S, Soroka O, Ringel JB, Safford MM. Treatment Intensity, Prescribing Patterns, and Blood Pressure Control in Rural Black Patients with Uncontrolled Hypertension. J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 2022 Oct 21. doi: 10.1007/s40615-022-01431-2. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36271193.

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