WEDNESDAY, Dec. 15, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Among U.S. adults with hypertension, 18.5 percent report using medications that may raise blood pressure (BP), according to a research letter published online Nov. 22 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

John A. Vitarello, M.D., from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, and colleagues examined National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data from 2009 to 2018 to characterize the prevalence of use of medications that may raise BP and their association with BP control and antihypertensive use. The study population included 27,599 adults, of whom 49.2 percent had hypertension and 35.4 percent had uncontrolled hypertension.

The researchers found that 14.9 percent of U.S. adults reported use of medications that may cause increased BP, including 18.5 percent of adults with hypertension. Antidepressants (8.7 percent), prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (6.5 percent), steroids (1.9 percent), and estrogens (1.7 percent) were the most commonly reported classes. Among adults not concurrently taking antihypertensives but not among those concurrently taking antihypertensives, the use of medications that may raise BP was associated with greater odds of uncontrolled hypertension (odds ratio, 1.24). Use of medications that may raise BP was associated with increased antihypertensive use among adults with controlled and those with uncontrolled hypertension (incidence rate ratios for use of one medication that may raise BP: 1.27 and 1.13, respectively).

“Our findings indicate an important opportunity to improve BP control by optimizing medication regimens, an approach that has the potential to also reduce polypharmacy and medication regimen complexity,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to Alosa Health.

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