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National utilization of antihypertensive medications from 2000 to 2006 in the Veterans Health Administration: focus on thiazide diuretics.

Furmaga EM, Cunningham FE, Cushman WC, Dong D, Jiang R, Basile J, Katz LA, Rutan GH, Berlowitz DR, Papademetriou V, Glassman PA. National utilization of antihypertensive medications from 2000 to 2006 in the Veterans Health Administration: focus on thiazide diuretics. Journal of clinical hypertension (Greenwich, Conn.). 2008 Oct 1; 10(10):770-8.

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Abstract:

The authors sought to determine the prescribing practices of clinicians treating veterans with hypertension. A descriptive analysis was performed using a national pharmacy database of patients with a diagnosis of hypertension receiving antihypertensive medication in the fiscal years 2000 to 2006. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors were the most frequently prescribed antihypertensive class, with utilization increasing from 56.0% in fiscal year 2000 to 63.2% of patients in 2006. Utilization of thiazide-type diuretics increased from 31.9% of patients in fiscal year 2000 to 42.0% in 2006. When patient comorbidities were taken into consideration, 48.1% of patients defined as having uncomplicated hypertension had at least one prescription for a thiazide diuretic in fiscal year 2006. Utilization by monotherapy and combination therapy were also evaluated. The trends in utilization allowed for identification of areas in which a change in prescribing practices may improve blood pressure control and health outcomes in the Veterans Health Administration.





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