Patterns of antihypertensive prescribing, discontinuation and switching among a Hong Kong Chinese population from over one million prescriptions

Wong, M.C.S., Jiang, J.Y., Lam, A.T., Fung, H., Griffiths, S. and Mercer, S.W. (2008) Patterns of antihypertensive prescribing, discontinuation and switching among a Hong Kong Chinese population from over one million prescriptions. Journal of Human Hypertension, 22(10), pp. 714-716. (doi:10.1038/jhh.2008.83)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/jhh.2008.83

Abstract

Hypertension is an alarming public health problem among Chinese. The present study evaluated the prescribing patterns, discontinuation and switching profiles of antihypertensive agents and their associated factors in one Hong Kong Chinese population. Data were retrieved from computerized records for patients prescribed anti-hypertensive agents in government primary care clinics of Hong Kong from January, 2004 to June, 2007. A total of 1,069,836 antihypertensive drug visits, representing 67,028 patients, were analyzed. The most commonly prescribed drugs were Calcium Channel Blockers (CCBs) (49%), b-Blockers (BBs) (46%) and Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors (ACEIs) (19%). Thiazide diuretic prescribing was low (13%) and on the decline (14% in 2004 to 12% in 2007). Prescribing of ACEIs was rising (16% in 2004 to 23% in 2007). Patients’ age, gender, and socio-economic status were independent predictors of class of anti-hypertensive prescribed but explained less than 3.5% of the variation observed. Drug discontinuation was highest for BBs (21%) and lowest for CCBs (12%). The high rates of discontinuation in BBs remained apparent after controlling for confounding variables. Switching was less common than discontinuation and was most likely with thiazide diuretics. To summarize, prescribing of CCBs and BBs were high and that of thiazide diuretics particularly low in this Chinese population when compared with international trends. CCBs may be a particularly favorable antihypertensive treatment in Chinese, given the high discontinuation rates of BBs and international guidelines advising against the use of BBs as first-line therapy. The low use of thiazide diuretics warrants further clinical and cost effectiveness studies among Chinese.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mercer, Professor Stewart
Authors: Wong, M.C.S., Jiang, J.Y., Lam, A.T., Fung, H., Griffiths, S., and Mercer, S.W.
Subjects:R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > General Practice and Primary Care
Journal Name:Journal of Human Hypertension
Publisher:Nature Publishing
ISSN:0950-9240
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2008 Nature
First Published:First published in Journal of Human Hypertension 22(10):174-176
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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