Drug treatment of hypertension in Sweden in relation to sex, age, and comorbidity

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The authors investigated antihypertensive drug treatment in Sweden using the Stockholm Regional Healthcare Data Warehouse, providing information on all healthcare consultations, diagnoses, hospitalizations, dispensed prescription drugs, sex, and age in 2.1 million persons. This cross-sectional analysis identified 292 428 individuals 20 years or older with hypertension (mean age 68 ± 13 years, 53% women). About half had no diabetes mellitus or cardiovascular comorbidity. The number of dispensed drugs was lower in women than in men (1.9 ± 1.3 vs 2.1 ± 1.5, P < .001). Women more often used diuretics, angiotensin receptor blockers, and β-blockers, while men used more angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and calcium channel blockers (all P < .01). In women, 66% with diabetes mellitus and 72% with heart failure used angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors/angiotensin receptor blockers vs 76% and 79% in men (all P < .001, adjusted for age and comorbidity). Thus, sex differences in treatment prevail. There is room for improvement, which could reduce cardiovascular complications.

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