To provide a rigorous descriptive analysis of a cohort of newly diagnosed patients with hypertension concerning the population characteristics, pharmacological choices by physicians and patients’ behavior related to the prescribed treatment.Design and method:
A detailed descriptive analysis was performed for pharmacological and behavioral features of 18706 new patients using for the first time at least one antihypertensive agent (ATC Classes: C02 antiadrenergic agents, C03 diuretics, C07 beta blocking agents, C08 calcium channel blockers, C09 agents acting on the renin-angiotensin system) in a retrospectively collected database from a Belgian health insurer (2008–2012).Results:
Hypertension treatment started at 59 year on average without statistical difference by gender. About 1/3 of patients aged 75 and above deceased during the 5 years follow up. The majority of patients (62% the first year and 65% the fifth year) only received one ATC class to treat hypertension; the first year, proportions are the following: 20.8% for C07, 20.5% for C09, 11.8% for C03, 8.5% for C08, 27.9% for two combined (or sequential) ATC classes and 10.1% for multi ATC classes and the fifth year: 23.1% for C07, 28.4% for C09, 6.1% for C03, 7.1% for C08, 27.0% for two combined (or sequential) ATC classes and 8.1% for multi ATC classes. 62.8% of patients followed their treatment each year (37.2% stopped the treatment at least once and 69.9% of them permanently). Nearly 50% of these treatment discontinuations occurred after the first year (mainly after diuretic or beta-blocker utilization). About 30% of the cohort followed an unchanged treatment during the 5 years.Conclusions:
The use of administrative databases provides interesting findings about the pharmaceutical intake in real world. The study highlights the necessity of the prescribing physician to rapidly choose the right molecule to insure afterwards a good persistence (and adherence) of treatment.